A Handful Of Hospitals Bailed Out By CARES Act Are Suing Patients For Unpaid Bills

Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed since the pandemic started, often against those who don’t have the ability to pay.

By Alexandra HartMay 29, 2020 6:53 am, ,

Many Texas hospitals are struggling because of the pandemic. A temporary ban on non-essential procedures has meant huge losses in revenue. At the same time, some of those hospitals are pursuing lawsuits for unpaid medical bills at a time when many Texans have lost their jobs and health insurance.

Jenny Deam reported for the Houston Chronicle that some of the lawsuits appear to be predatory, and affect “poor, unemployed or unsuspecting patients.” She told Texas Standard host David Brown on Friday that a recent study that found one hospital chain, Community Health Services, was responsible for most of the lawsuits against Texas patients. What’s more, the money it and other hospitals intended to recoup only amounted to a small fraction of their total revenue.

Of the more than 1,000 lawsuits cited in the study, many had been in process for a couple of years. But Deam said researchers also found that hundreds were filed since the pandemic started.

“This trend is continuing even as hundreds of thousands of Texans are losing their job[s], losing their health benefits and are financially strapped,” Deam said.

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– Who is being sued and why

– How a Dallas law firm is responsible for filing most of the lawsuits

– What to do if you are sued for unpaid hospital bills

Web story by Caroline Covington.


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