Posted at: 10/02/2012 4:34 PM
| Updated at: 10/03/2012 1:00 PM
By: WNYT Staff
LATHAM - Thousands of patients of a Latham medical clinic are being asked to pay bills that go all the way back to five and six years ago.
These bills they never got in the first place and the clinic admits that it's all their fault.
The Newton Medical Practice is privately owned by three doctors.
One of the doctors tells NewsChannel13 they have lost "at least half a million dollars" and were dangerously close to shutting down. Dr. Regina Velarde says it's because an employee, now fired, told them she did not have time to send out the bills for years.
"We lost several hundred thousand dollars. We do need the money to stay open," Velarde said.
Velarde says she and her two partners discovered last May that virtually nobody was paying their bills. She says an office manager admitted to not sending out bills, many of them for years.
"She said she had other things more important to do at the time. We were all upset and flabbergasted,” Velarde said.
Velarde says the employee was fired, but the office's income already had become dangerously hurt.
So the practice started sending out bills for services rendered as long as six years ago.
"Right now our attempts to get payments from patients have not met with much success," Velarde said.
Velarde says they do not plan to sue.