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Ministry Health reporting phony collections letters sent to patients


WESTON, Wis. (WSAU) -- Ministry Health is dealing with a collections scam affecting their patients.

A staff member got a call last week from a patient who'd been getting collections letters from a company called NCC Commonwealth claiming that they owed money to Ministry. Ministry communications director Geoffrey Huys says Ministry has their own way of handling their collections and prefers to prevent that sort of contact. "We actually have patient financial counselors that you would actually be in contact with long before anything like this would happen. This kind of stuff is just not regularly done by us."

Huys says anyone who comes into the hospital in poor financial situations is set up with plans to pay back that money. "If you can't afford all of your hospital care, we set up plans and things like that with you at the very beginning so you're not going to get the kinds of calls from collection agencies."

The company has been in contact with NCC Commonwealth. "We've actually spoken to this company. They're not very helpful. It does appear that they have less than... strong credentials in terms of things like this. And they have been identified in scams before."

Huys says if you do get letters and calls about collections from Ministry to contact them and see if the debts are legit. You can also contact the Department of Financial Institutions.

Ministry Health CollectionsPeggy Schley, Ministry Health Care Collections Manager - (920) 628-9675.

Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions - (800) 452-3328or http://www.wdfi.org/ymm/brochures/credit/debt_collection.htm