Having your work injury-related medical bills turned over to collection companies is an all too often thing we see in Iowa work comp cases so what can be done?
If you have a petition pending before the Iowa Workers Compensation agency then under Iowa Code § 85.27, no health care provider can commence any collection action against an employee while a case is pending. Therefore, you or your attorney should send a letter and a copy of the filed petition which should prevent further collection actions, lawsuits against you for medical bills, etc.
The last thing that you want to do is just ignore the collection letters and calls because if the bills are not timely submitted, then you could end up being responsible for medical bills that your employer's workers' compensation insurance company should have paid. Also, keep in mind that the general rule is that you only have 2 years from the date of your injury to have a petition filed (unless you have been timely paid TTD or PPD benefits) or you risk being stuck with these medical bills. This is not something to wait until the last minute to figure out because you are likely to make a costly mistake.
Whether you have a pending petition or not, you should request an itemized copy of the bill they are seeking to be paid. If the bill is for work injury-related medical care then you should promptly send it to the insurance adjuster and request that it be promptly paid. Sometimes insurance adjusters will simply ignore medical bills until they are forced to deal with them. You should also call the medical provider or their collection company to make sure that they have the contact information including the claim number for the insurance adjuster. Often this will work, but it will take some effort on your behalf.
If this still does not work, then it is time to call an experienced Iowa work comp attorney if you do not already have one. We are happy to answer your questions and help you decide the best course of action for you and your situation. There is no cost or risk so call now (641) 792-3595.