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RIP Medical Debt Changes Name to Undue Medical Debt

RIP Medical Debt Changes Name to Undue Medical Debt

RIP Medical Debt, the New York based nonprofit that the Debt Jubilee Project works with to purchase and forgive medical debt, has changed its name to “Undue Medical Debt” as par of its tenth anniversary.

“The rollout of our new name and brand represents an exciting moment in our organizational history,” shares Undue Medical Debt president and CEO, Allison Sesso. “These changes reflect how much we’ve grown and capture our bold vision for a future in which the causes of medical debt are undone, eliminating the need for us to make debts un-due. Our mission remains to end medical debt and be a source of justice in an unjust healthcare finance system, a unique solution for patient-centered healthcare providers and a moral force for systemic change so all people can seek healthcare without fear.”

Read more about it here:

NATIONAL NONPROFIT RIP MEDICAL DEBT ANNOUNCES EXCITING REBRAND TO UNDUE MEDICAL DEBT

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Former Surgeon General Calls Health Care System “Broken”

Former Surgeon General Calls Health Care System “Broken”

Former US Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who served 2017-21 during the Trump presidency, had to go to the ER for simple dehydration, and later received a bill for $5,000.  Business Insider reports that Adams was fighting the bill, which he called “mentally taxing.”  His experience highlights big problems with US healthcare, including high costs and no transparency.

Read the article here:

Former US Surgeon General Says US Health Care System is Broken

 

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“Casey’s Campaign” Debt Jubilee Project featured on the Kelly Clarkson Show

“Casey’s Campaign” Debt Jubilee Project featured on the Kelly Clarkson Show

Medical debt relief was the subject on The Kelly Clarkson Show on 2/21/24 (Episode 80).  Andrew Gregory, whose wife Casey McIntyre died of ovarian cancer last year, had been inspired by our Debt Jubilee Project to undertake a campaign of her own when she passed — friends would be asked to donate to relieve medical debt in her memory.  Casey’s campaign went viral and ended up being the largest single campaign in RIP Medical Debt’s history.  Andrew tells the story of watching our video, and planning initially to burn the debts in a spray of confetti as we did.  They had to end up doing something different but very symbolic — you’ll need to watch the episode to find out more!

Watch the segment here: The Kelly Clarkson Show EPISODE 80

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Atrium and Novant Won’t Sell Medical Debt

Atrium and Novant Won’t Sell Medical Debt

In an investigative report, NC Health News‘ Michelle Crouch reports that both the major hospital systems in central NC have decided to stop selling medical debt, even to charitable organizations such as RIP Medical Debt, the debt-forgiveness system that Debt Jubilee Project works with.  At this point, Debt Jubilee and related group have purchased and forgiven all the available medical debt in Forsyth and surrounding counties; until Novant and Atrium agree to release more debt, we can’t really do more in our own area!  Read more:

https://www.northcarolinahealthnews.org/2023/12/11/charlotte-hospitals-no-charity-effort-to-erase-medical-debt/

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Jubilee for Healing of the World Raises Over $100k!

Jubilee for Healing of the World Raises Over $100k!

Earlier this year, the Moravian Church Board of World Mission, the Moravian Ministries Foundation, and other agencies came to us with an idea: to take our Debt Jubilee Project (designed to focus on local debts in NC) and broaden the focus — using the same model to raise funds to remove medical debt at our medical clinic in Honduras (which provides the only medical care on the east coast) and also other impoverished regions in the US where the Moravian Church has a presence.  So they issued a challenge to Moravian churches: to raise $50K in 50 days.  The end results far surpassed the goal!  Over $100,000 was contributed.

The Debt Jubilee Project: For the Healing of the World’s fundraiser is now officially complete, we are delighted to tell you the total raised: $102,424.47. Jubilee, indeed!

$76,818.35 will be used to relieve medical debt in the United States and $25,606.12 will relieve medical debt at the Ahuas Clinic in Honduras.
A reminder that debt relief in the U.S. will be administered through our partnership with RIP Medical Debt. We are currently working with them to finalize the purchase of medical debt for pennies on the dollar in counties with a Moravian ministry.
As soon as we know the total amount of debt relieved in each county where we can purchase debt, we will share that with you; it typically takes RIP Medical Debt a few weeks to complete this part of their work. However, we know the funds you contributed will be multiplied many times over in the final amount of debt relieved!
Again, thank you for your support of the Debt Jubilee Project: For the Healing of the World!
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Philadelphians Eliminate $1.6 Million in Medical Debt

Philadelphians Eliminate $1.6 Million in Medical Debt

A group of young Philadelphians – who describe themselves as “mostly queer, gutter-pagans in their 30’s” were inspired by our Debt Jubilee Project, and undertook a project themselves.  Working with RIP Medical Debt, they rasied enough cash to buy $1.6 million in medical debt owed by poorer Philly residents.  To celebrate, they burned a giant “medical billing statement” on a pier next to the Delaware River.

Link to the Inquirer article (PAYWALL):

https://www.inquirer.com/news/philadelphia/rip-medical-debt-forgiveness-philadelphia-20230828.html

For non-subscribers, we have posted a reduced resolution scan below:

 

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Atrium Health leads state in lawsuits over medical debt

Atrium Health leads state in lawsuits over medical debt

In recent report from Duke, University, it was reported that non-profit hospitals were responsible for 90% of the 5,900 suits filed against patients  -and Atrium Health (the system Baptist Hospital is part of) leads the state in lawsuits over medical debt.

According to the study, 5,922 medical-debt lawsuits were filed between January 2017 and June 2022 involving N.C. hospitals. Nonprofit hospitals were responsible for 90.6% of those lawsuits.

Atrium was determined to have filed 2,487 of those lawsuits.

Non-profit hospital systems are required to provide a certain amount of charity care to maintain their status.  Many NC hospitals fail to meet this minimum standard (see report below) yet are among those suing poor patients.

Read the Winston-Salem Journal article by Richard Craver:

Atrium Health leads state in lawsuits over medical debt. Non-profit hospitals were responsible for 90% of the 5,900 suits filed

Read the study from Duke University:

Hospital Lawsuits

Read the study about charity care among non-profit hospitals in NC:

NC Hospitals: Charity Case Report

 

 

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Medical Debt Forgiveness and Veterans

Medical Debt Forgiveness and Veterans

Many people are excited about our efforts to abolish medical debt in our area.  But did you know that the Veterans Administration does not allow veterans’ debts to be discharged?  RIP Medical Debt co-founder Jerry Ashton (a Navy veteran himself) is on a campaign to change that – and he’s using our Jubilee Project as an example!

Read more:

NORTH CAROLINA CHURCH DEBT JUBILEE RETIRES MILLIONS IN MEDICAL DEBT — CAN VETERANS EVERYWHERE BE NEXT?

Ashton has started a new organization, Veteran Mission Possible, to work on convincing the Veteran’s Administration to change their policies and allow our veterans to discharge their crushing medical debt when it is beyond their means.  Often the debt is beyond their means because of ongoing problems caused by their faithful service to the country!  If there is a debt that it is owed, it is a debt of a thankful nation to those who served faithfully.

#EndVetMedDebt

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Debt Jubilee Goes International!

Debt Jubilee Goes International!

We are excited to announce that the Moravian Church Board of World Mission, the Moravian Ministries Foundation, the Interprovincial Board of Communication, and the Commission on Congregational Development (Southern Province) have partnered with Debt Jubilee Project for an international campaign to relieve medical debt in the US and Honduras.  As was announced this week at the Synod of the Northern Province, this campaign (which is separate from our local NC campaign) seeks to raise $50,000 in 50 days.  25% of the total will be used to forgive medical debts at the Clínica Evangélica Morava in Ahuas, Honduras; the other 75% will be used to forgive medical debts in areas of the US where the Moravian Church has a congregation or other presence.

To donate to this campaign, go to www.moravian.org/debtjubilee/

Here is the official news release:

The Debt Jubilee Project: For the Healing of the World is a collaborative effort of the Board of World Mission, the Moravian Commission on Congregational Development, the Moravian Ministries Foundation in America, and the Interprovincial Board of Communication. Based on our biblical call to care for the sick and our belief that healthcare is a fundamental human right, this project will work to offer grace and hope through the forgiveness of medical debt. Because our call is to our siblings in Christ here in North America and throughout the world, this project will forgive medical debt in the United States as well as at the Moravian medical ministry of the Clínica Evangélica Morava in Ahuas, Honduras.

Through this effort, we hope to build on the energy and witness of the recent work of Trinity Moravian Church in Winston-Salem, which raised about $15,000 earlier this year to forgive over $3,000,000 in medical debt. The Debt Jubilee Project; For the Healing of the World aims to provide an opportunity for more Moravians to join in this freeing and life-changing initiative. Our goal is to raise $50,000 in 50 days with the project concluding on August 13th.

75% of your gift will support the elimination of medical debt in the U.S. through a partnership with RIP Medical Debt, an organization that purchases medical debt for pennies on the dollar and erases that debt, which would otherwise have been sold to for-profit debt collectors. RIP Medical Debt only abolishes debt for those earning less than 4x the federal poverty level and/or hold debts of 5% or more of their annual income. The Debt Jubilee Project: For the Healing of the World will specifically forgive debts for those living in U.S. counties with a Moravian presence (through a congregation or ministry). The individuals and families who owe the medical debt purchased will receive a letter informing them that their debt is forgiven. Jubilee!

25% of your gift will buy debt owed by patients of the Clínica Evangélica Morava, a Moravian medical ministry in Ahuas, Honduras, that has been serving the remote area of La Mosquitia for over 75 years. Medical debt held in this area is a burden on the indebted patients, the clinic, and the community as a whole. The individuals and families who owe the medical debt purchased will receive notice informing them that their debt is forgiven. Jubilee!
Learn more and donate at www.moravian.org/debtjubilee/.

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For-Profit Medical Care Dominates South

For-Profit Medical Care Dominates South

Washington Post, in a review of the growth of non-profits in the US, notes that the southern states have the least non-profit health care systems, as statistic which coincides with areas of higher medical debt — and the “Diabetes Corridor.”

Andrew Van Dam writes, “The South’s lack of nonprofits largely reflects a lack of nonprofit medicine. Other types of nonprofits tend to be more equitably distributed. As readers Tim Carter in Seattle and Joe Bogucki in Newnan, Ga., pointed out when we looked into credit scores, the South’s surfeit of for-profit hospitals might be another reason that region has such high medical debt.”

Washington Post article includes an interactive map of featured graphic, which is ©2023 WashPo.  Read the article here:

The real reason America’s nonprofit sector is seeing massive growth, and more!

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