A medical billing specialist investigated her husband’s ER bill. Her sleuthing took over a year but knocked thousands of dollars off the hospital’s charges — and provides a playbook for other consumers.
A youth mental health crisis and a shortage of therapists and other care providers who take insurance are pushing many families into financial ruin. But it’s rarely acknowledged as medical debt.
Hospitals, boosted by private equity-backed staffing companies, have embraced a new idea: the obstetrics emergency department. Often, it is just a triage room in the labor-and-delivery area, but it bills like the main emergency department.
New policies to prevent unpaid medical bills from harming people’s credit scores are on the way. But the concessions made by top credit reporting companies may fall short for those with the largest debt — especially Black Americans in the South.
Penny Wingard, 58, of Charlotte, North Carolina, worries she won’t ever get out from under her medical debt despite new policies that are supposed to prevent medical debt from harming people’s credit scores.
KHN Midwest correspondent Lauren Weber talks with NPR’s “Consider This” podcast about her reporting on families confronted with medical bills while grieving the loss of a baby who received expensive hospital care.
Sterling Raspe lived just eight months. In this KHN video, her father shows the 2-inch stack of medical bills generated by Sterling’s care.
Russell Cook was expecting a quick and inexpensive visit to an urgent care center for his daughter, Frankie, after she had a car wreck. Instead, they were advised to go to an emergency room and got a much larger bill.
After reporting from KHN, NPR, and CBS News, a patient’s $2,700 ambulance bill was pulled back from collections.
Four Seasons Health Care collapsed after years of private equity investors rolling in one after another to buy its business, sell its real estate, and at times wrest multimillion-dollar profits from it through complex debt schemes. The deal-making failed to account for the true cost of senior care.
Investors are banking on increased demand in death care services as 73 million baby boomers near the end of their lives.
Two Missouri towns are without operating hospitals after private equity-backed Noble Health left both facilities mired in debt, lawsuits, and federal investigations. The hospitals’ new operator, Platinum Health, agreed to buy them in April for $2 and laid off the last employees in early September.
As private equity groups are swarming into aging America’s eye care, the consolidation is costing the U.S. health care system and patients more money.
An online calculator told a young woman that a procedure to rule out cancer would cost an uninsured person about $1,400. Instead, the hospital initially charged almost $18,000 and, with her high-deductible health insurance, she owed more than $5,000.
Terri Logan, 42, Spartanburg, South Carolina Approximate Medical Debt: $1,400, now $0 Medical Issue: Premature childbirth What Happened: Two months ahead of her due date with her second daughter, Terri Logan felt weighed down by stress. She was a high school math teacher in Union City, Georgia, and was ending her relationship with the baby’s […]
Jeni Rae Peters, 44, Rapid City, South Dakota Approximate Medical Debt: More than $30,000 Medical Issue: Breast cancer What Happened: Jeni Rae Peters’ budget has always been tight. But Peters, a single mom and mental health counselor, has worked to provide opportunities for her children, including two girls she adopted and a succession of foster […]
Lucille Brooks, 74, Pittsford, New York Approximate Medical Debt: $8,000 Medical Issue: None. She was billed for her brother’s care. What Happened: Lucille Brooks was stunned to discover a nursing home in Monroe County, New York, was suing her. She had never been a patient there. Nor had her husband. “I thought this was crazy,” […]
Nonprofit RIP Medical Debt buys up unpaid hospital bills plaguing low-income patients and frees them from having to pay.
The U.S. Labor Department investigates Noble Health after former employees of its shuttered Missouri hospitals say the private equity-backed owner took money from their paychecks and then failed to fund their insurance coverage.
Private equity firms are seeing opportunities for profit in hospice care, once the domain of nonprofit organizations. The investment companies are transforming the industry — and might be jeopardizing patient care — in the process.