A middle Georgia hospital is suing patients for unpaid bills after they’ve received treatment, a move that’s being met with criticism from some who say the facility is taking advantage of those in need. The hospital, which is located in Macon, is being sued by approximately 200 patients who have failed to pay their medical bills, according to a report from the Telegraph. The suits are seeking a total of $2.5 million. Some of the patients who are being sued say they can’t afford to pay the hospital, and that the facility is taking advantage of them. “It’s just not right,” patient Latesha Love told the Telegraph. ” They’re supposed to help people, not sue them.” Love, who is being sued for $5,000, said she was hospitalized for nearly two weeks after she was involved in a car accident. She said she’s tried to work out a payment plan with the hospital, but they’ve been unwilling to work with her. “I just feel like they’re trying to take advantage of people,” Love said. Another patient, Erica Jackson, is being sued for $6,000. Jackson told the Telegraph she was hospitalized for three days after she gave birth to her daughter prematurely. “They’re just trying to get as much money as they can from people,” Jackson said of the hospital. ” It’s not right.” The hospital has not commented on the lawsuits, but a representative told the Telegraph that the facility “works with patients on a regular basis to try and resolve their outstanding balances.” Critics say the hospital is taking advantage of patients who are in a vulnerable position, and that the suits could prevent people from seeking needed medical care. “This is a heartless, cold way to try to collect on debts,” said state Representative David Dreyer, a Democrat from Atlanta. ” It’s shameful, and it’s wrong.” What do you think? Should hospitals be able to sue patients for unpaid bills?
Houston Healthcare has filed at least 612 lawsuits against patients who failed to pay their medical bills since 2006. In these lawsuits, the hospital has tried to seize more than $1.3 million in wages. An investigation discovered a large number of garnishment cases on Houston County Magistrate Court’s online docket. Houston Healthcare’s net loss increased from -1.78 million to -4.9 million in fiscal 2017, as revenues decreased. In some cases, hospitals garnish the wages of patients who do not pay their medical bills. Hospitals that do not collect wages from patients will not be able to do so as a result of IRS actions. According to a hospital official, ability to pay is being considered as soon as care is rendered.
Houston Healthcare provides financial assistance to patients who are unable to pay their medical bills. To qualify for assistance, a patient must complete a lengthy application process. If they do not apply and do not pay their bills, the hospital may garnished their wages. A family of four earning $31,375 per year or less would qualify for Medicaid. In fiscal 2013, Houston Healthcare provided $8.4 million in healthcare services to patients who could not afford it on their own. In the following year, the number of charities receiving financial aid fell to $4.3 million. There has been an increase in enrollment over the last few years, and it was approximately $9.4 million in fiscal 2017.
If you do not have health insurance, you may have eligible. According to Georgia Watch’s Ashley Carlson, the answer is to ignore it because you will have to pay rent. Health care debt is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy, according to Carlson. Even if the patient is insured, they may be surprised by surprise charges if they visit a doctor or hospital outside their network.
How Long Does A Hospital Have To Bill You In Georgia?
A hospital or long-term care facility is required by section 10-1-393(b)(14) to provide you with an itemized statement of all charges for which you are being billed within six business days of you being discharged from its care as an inpatient.
How long does it take a hospital to send a bill for out of patient procedures? Your hospital status, i.e. how it determines whether you are an inpatient or an outpatient, can influence the price you pay for services. Under Georgia’s Fair Business Practices Act, a hospital must provide you with a statement of all charges within six business days. It is customary for hospitals to follow a set of billing procedures and timelines. It is the responsibility of the patient to provide an itemized statement of all charges levied by the health care provider. It is still the patient’s responsibility to determine the extent to which their insurance will cover routine office visits, treatments, and lab tests, but you can always ask the hospital for specifics.