Skip to main content

Medical Debt

So it seems that a rather large debt collector who does a lot of business in the more western states is in the hot seat for trying to solicit people to pay past bills and pre-pay medical bills while they are currently in the hospital.  Imagine the nerve of hospitals being desperate to be paid and demanding money for their services!  There is an article in a recent edition of the New York Times about the subject that others have picked up on in the media, as well.  The name of the collection agency is Accretive Health.  Can you imagine being in an emergency room and have somebody approach you and try to get you to pre-pay or forego treatment because of past debts?  There sure is something unethical in that, for sure.  I am assuming they also gain access to a patient's medical records -- which is certainly wrong and probably very much illegal.  In the past, it was bad enough to worry about whether some blood-sucking insurance company was going to cover a procedure -- now we can worry about even being seen by a doctor before we even get to the insurance companies.  It is bad enough that people, who are not doctors, get to see our records, let alone somebody who can't even pretend to care about patients' health matters.

Now I am no fan of debt collectors, based on the stories I hear of their unscrupulous tactics and my own experiences in the past.  At any rate, if they have done anything illegal, I hope this collection agency gets nailed big time for its behavior and that others take notice of it.

On the other hand, how does the hospital collect for more expenses involved in a hospital stay from someone who hasn't paid previous bills and is likely to skip any new ones?  The hospital and its staff certainly have a right to be paid for their effort, expense and risk in treating people, right?  Quite often, as was the case with the collapse of the housing market in recent times, creditors are labelled the bad guys while the folks who have not paid their bills as they agreed to are somehow the victims.  This is not to say that, especially with predatory lenders, there isn't some shared blame.  So where does the hospital (or any organization with a lot of unpaid debt) stand, in terms of rights?  What is fair?  This is one issue where there is two sides to the coin.  Please feel free to comment.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Remembering Why

I was watching Bill O'Reilly this evening as he interviewed Tony Orlando, who has agreed to perform at the Armed Services Ball. Not only is he doing it for the veterans, he is doing it for America -- out of respect for our tradition of a peaceful transfer of power. He made it clear that, had Hillary won and asked him to perform, he would do the same. It is not a partisan thing. It's about America, not an individual. Bravo, Tony. A true patriotic American.

Think, not react...

The 'action-reaction' scenario that has been playing out between progressives and conservatives is a situation that is becoming increasingly counter-productive and harmful. This is obviously not something new; the battle between left and right has been raging for a long time and those flames were also well-fanned by the previous administration and ineffective congress. Sadly, what happens is a loss of focus on issues that we should be working together to solve and increase in counter-productive squabbling. The level of immaturity being witnessed as coming from our 45th president is unfortunate. Less use of Twitter would serve him better, provided he actually took the time to build better relationships with key figures in the media. Some of it has been nothing short of childish and the sort of thing I might have engaged in as a 12 year old, were Twitter in existence then.

President Trump's tendency to engage in knee-jerk reactions is unfortunate. A case in point is his exec…

The Value of a Letter

I can't say with any certainty when the last time I wrote a letter to anybody was. I can tell you that I remember the last several emails I have sent or received -- but to actually write and mail a letter? I have given this a little thought today as I heard someone talking about it on a Christian radio station I favor and listen to very often. He mentioned that he cannot recall anyone ever telling him that they received his email "at the right time" or how much it really meant to them. I am sure that some of us can say we have received such a response. However, as I reflect on that, those times are few and far between.

In thinking about the time and effort it takes to put pen to paper and then actually stick on a stamp on it and mail it, I can see where it could well mean much more to the recipient than a simple text or email. Perhaps that is what I like so much about getting Christmas cards -- especially those with notes in them.

Just thinking...