Erroneous migraine-related credit score dings that won’t go away

When was the last time you checked out your credit score and report?  May I urge you to do so now?  (As far as I know, CreditKarma dot com is the only place online where you can get a truly free copy of your score—no gimmicks.)

You’re probably wondering why I’m asking this, as migraine.com posts are supposed to be about, well, migraine.

And don’t worry: I’ll get to that.

One glaring item on my credit report is an emergency room bill from a few years ago. To save you a lot of time, I’ll keep this story short: I paid the bill but the hospital said I didn’t, and the bill was reported to a credit bureau. After years of fighting it and following every possible path to get it corrected, nothing can be done. (This is a statement made in an effort to save you helpful folks from telling me all the people I can call and all the institutions I can write to to fight this erroneous information.  You’ll have to trust me when I say that i have done absolutely everything within my power save going to court—which I’m not willing to do—and, after about 20 hours of phone calls and years’ worth of in-person meetings, I am giving up.)


Two things make me even more bitter about this particular story.

One: apart from this one bit of erroneous information, my credit score is really high.  My banker has told me that, despite knowing firsthand that the information on the credit report is wrong, it’s not advisable for me to do something like buy a house until the item falls off my report, as the lowest interest rate she’d be able to get me would be less than stellar.  It’s frustrating to have such a huge ding on your report, especially when it’s not your fault. It’s making a serious impact on my ability to move forward with my life. Ugh.

Two: THE ER VISIT WAS NOT HELPFUL AT ALL.  I had had a migraine for several days without any meaningful interruption, and I was following healthcare professionals’ advice by seeking emergency care in order to get a medical intervention that would stop the migraine process.  I wanted to avoid and/or interrupt the status migrainosus process. Too bad no one in the ER had ever heard of status migrainosus, and everyone kept focusing on trying to give me morphine (which I rejected several times and was then billed for despite never having been administered the drug).  In my exhausted state, I tried to get the nurse to call my neurologist, who knows a heck of a lot about migraine disease. No one called the neurologist.  I tried to explain status migrainosus but got the distinct impression (and I could be wrong) that they thought I was a slightly crazed patient who believed she was an expert because she had googled the word “migraine” one time.  I repeatedly told them that I didn’t want morphine, an opioid, and that instead I just needed them to do what they could to stop the entire attack, not just focus on the pain.

It was a trying experience, and I had hoped I’d left it behind forever later that day when Jim drove me back home to rest.

Instead, years later, I think of it every time I look at my credit report, every time I consider if and when I might buy a home, every time I get a really terrible migraine and worry that I may have to return to the ER for an emergency intervention.

Have you ever found an erroneous medical-related item on your credit report, or have you had to fight with a healthcare provider over an incorrect bill? How’d it go for you?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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