Banks & Hospitals Cash in on Medical Debt

Banks & Hospitals Cash in on Medical Debt

Kaiser Health News reports that many hospitals are now working hand-in-hand with private financing to make it “easy” to pay for medical services — at a high interest rate and large profit.

READ THE STORY ONLINE

 

 

 

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$1.1 Million in Medical Debt Forgiven – and Burned!

$1.1 Million in Medical Debt Forgiven – and Burned!

Debt Jubilee Project officially forgave $1,165,798.61 in medical debt owed by 1,356 individuals in Forsyth and Davidson counties, and symbolically burned the list of debts during a special church service on Sunday, September 25, at Trinity Moravian Church in Winston-Salem, NC.

The campaign was originally planned to raise $5,000 to purchase and forgive approximately $500,000 in uncollected medical debt in Forsyth County.  The campaign was expected to take three months.  However, in less than six weeks, the campaign hit its goal, with most donations being $25 or $50.  When RIP Medical Debt took the cash to the debt broker, they were able to buy a staggering $1.1 million in debts, about equally split between Forsyth and Davidson counties.

In the coming week, 1,356 households will be receiving official notification of the debt forgiveness.

The church board announced on October 2 that the next phase of the program – raising enough money to forgive approximately $4 million in medical debts owed in Davidson county – will commence immediately.  The Project will be seeking partnerships with many area churches to successfully retire the Davidson county debts.  If your church would like to partner with us, more information is here.

The plan is to then move to Davie, Yadkin, Stokes, and Guilford counties in turn.

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Featured photo: June Edwards, Vice-Chair of the Board and Pastor John Jackman burn the list of debts.  Photo by Debbie Jackman

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NC Hospitals Have Record Profits During Pandemic

NC Hospitals Have Record Profits During Pandemic

An analysis by the North Carolina State Health Plan and the National Academy for State Health Policy found that taxpayer-funded COVID relief gave a huge wealth transfer to North Carolina’s seven dominant hospital systems. While patients and rural hospitals suffered, wealthy hospital systems enjoyed record profits and a $7.1 billion growth in cash and investments during the pandemic.

Click here to read the article and download the study:

https://www.shpnc.org/what-the-health/nc-hospitals-profit-during-covid

 

Featured image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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100 Million People in America Are Saddled With Health Care Debt

100 Million People in America Are Saddled With Health Care Debt

A recent investigation by Kaiser Health News and NPR reveals that 100 million Americans have significant medical debt. This is far more pervasive than previously reported.

“Debt is no longer just a bug in our system. It is one of the main products,” said Dr. Rishi Manchanda, who has worked with low-income patients in California for more than a decade and served on the board of the nonprofit RIP Medical Debt. “We have a health care system almost perfectly designed to create debt.”

https://khn.org/news/article/diagnosis-debt-investigation-100-million-americans-hidden-medical-debt/

Featured photo from Pexels/Pavel Danilyuk

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Families Sued for Nursing Home Debts

Families Sued for Nursing Home Debts

Recent reporting by NPR reveals that in upstate New York,  it is becoming common for nursing home to sue friends and relatives for the care of residents – and this is common in other areas, too.

In New York’s Monroe County, where Rochester is located, 24 federally licensed nursing homes filed 238 debt collection cases from 2018 to 2021 seeking almost $7.6 million, KHN found. Several nursing homes did not file any lawsuits in that period.

The nursing home industry has quietly developed what consumer attorneys and patient advocates say is a pernicious strategy of pursuing family and friends of patients despite federal law that was enacted to protect them from debt collection. “The level of aggression that nursing homes are using to collect unpaid debt is severely increasing,” said Lisa Neeley, a Massachusetts elder law attorney.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/07/28/1113134049/nursing-homes-are-suing-friends-and-family-to-collect-on-patients-bills

Featured image courtesy of Alpha Stock Images – http://alphastockimages.com/

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Surprise Ambulance Bills

Surprise Ambulance Bills

Families are being broadsided by unexpected ambulance bills — often out-of-network and aggressively collected.  NPR reporter Bram Sable-Smith followed up in this story for All Things Considered.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/07/27/1113563630/the-ambulance-chased-one-patient-into-collections

Featured photo from Rodnae Productions/PEXELS

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NC Medicaid Expansion Delayed – Again

NC Medicaid Expansion Delayed – Again

May 26, 2022: The NC House declined to act on the Senate’s proposed Medicaid expansion act, proposing their own version instead. Their proposal calls for yet another study, then for legislators to come back to Raleigh in December — after this fall’s election — for the actual vote approving the changes to the Medicaid program.

Read about it in NC Health News:
House speaker adds another Medicaid expansion plan to the mix

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