Action 9 investigates mysterious medical bills

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Action 9 has investigated a mysterious medical bill that showed up in hundreds of central Florida mailboxes.

Consumers found a North Carolina company was billing them nearly $1,000 for procedures two to four years ago.

Action 9's Todd Ulrich tracked down the company for answers and got results for a lot of anxious families.

One of those consumers was Kris Ivins from St. Cloud, who found a $900 bill in the mail for a medical procedure four years ago.

Ivins thought it had to be a mistake or someone trying to pull a fast one on her.

"Who sends a bill four years after services were rendered? And that's the first time I received that bill," she said.

Anesthesia Healthcare Partners out of Raleigh, North Carolina, sent the bill for an outpatient test in 2009.

But Ivins checked her records and found that was settled long ago.

"Our insurance paid their portion and we paid our $45 deductible," she said.

Out of the blue, Mary Wilkerson from Orange County got a bill from the same company. AHP was billing her more than $1,000 and said if she didn't pay her account she would be sent to a collection agency.

The bill was for a medical procedure at the Citrus Surgical Center two years ago.

"I don't owe anything. I paid all my bills," said Wilkerson.

Ten other consumers contacted us about the same mystery bills.

Ulrich checked with managers at several local same-day surgery and testing centers where AHP had treated patients with anesthesia. They said hundreds of consumers had complained about similar bills.

The CEO of Anesthesia Healthcare is Sean Lynch. He declined an interview, but the company's attorney did respond, saying AHP had been in negotiations with a major insurance company to resolve reimbursement issues.

As part of the process a collection agency reviewed patient accounts, but AHP said the bills should not have been sent and it has asked the agency to stop any activity with those accounts.

That's good news for hundreds of local patients, including Wilkerson.

"I do know they're not going to get any money from me. I do know that," she said.

Many of the families have been trying to get answers from AHP for the past month. Some consumers had already paid and Action 9 is still working on answers for that.

PDF: Read the attorney's response here