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‘ How banks and hospitals are cashing in when patients can't pay for health care ‘
Posted by: btfc
Date: November 17, 2022 11:48PM
‘ Patients at North Carolina-based Atrium Health get what looks like an enticing pitch when they go to the nonprofit hospital system's website: a payment plan from lender AccessOne. The plans offer "easy ways to make monthly payments" on medical bills, the website says. You don't need good credit to get a loan. Everyone is approved. Nothing is reported to credit agencies.

In Minnesota, Allina Health encourages its patients to sign up for an account with MedCredit Financial Services to "consolidate your health expenses." In Southern California, Chino Valley Medical Center, part of the Prime Healthcare chain, touts "promotional financing options with the CareCredit credit card to help you get the care you need, when you need it."

As Americans are overwhelmed with medical bills, patient financing is now a multibillion-dollar business, with private equity and big banks lined up to cash in when patients and their families can't pay for care. By one estimate from research firm IBISWorld, profit margins top 29% in the patient financing industry, seven times what is considered a solid hospital margin. ‘


[www.npr.org]
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Re: ‘ How banks and hospitals are cashing in when patients can't pay for health care ‘
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: November 18, 2022 05:43AM
My sister owed more than $100k to the hospital after her husband died. She sends them $25 a month and will for the rest of her life. She was advised that as long as she made that payment, they will be satisfied.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.” -- François de La Rochefoucauld

"Those who cannot accept the past are condemned to revise it." -- Geo. Mathias

The German word for contraceptive is “Schwangerschaftsverhütungsmittel”. By the time you finished saying that, it’s too late
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Re: ‘ How banks and hospitals are cashing in when patients can't pay for health care ‘
Posted by: wurm
Date: November 18, 2022 06:33AM
Quote
Ombligo
My sister owed more than $100k to the hospital after her husband died. She sends them $25 a month and will for the rest of her life. She was advised that as long as she made that payment, they will be satisfied.

On the surface, I'd go for an arrangement like that. As long as the remaining balance doesn't get passed on to my survivors. Curious as to how much (if any) of that $25 goes to the actual bill versus some kind of interest on an invisible loan.
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Re: ‘ How banks and hospitals are cashing in when patients can't pay for health care ‘
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: November 18, 2022 06:41AM
Many hospitals have a policy to completely forgive medical debt if your income/assets are under a certain level, but they usually won't tell you that even if you ask directly. I think it is about 3x the local poverty guideline.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: ‘ How banks and hospitals are cashing in when patients can't pay for health care ‘
Posted by: mattkime
Date: November 18, 2022 06:45AM
Quote
Ombligo
My sister owed more than $100k to the hospital after her husband died. She sends them $25 a month and will for the rest of her life. She was advised that as long as she made that payment, they will be satisfied.

good for her!



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Re: ‘ How banks and hospitals are cashing in when patients can't pay for health care ‘
Posted by: Michael
Date: November 18, 2022 06:58AM
Quote
Ombligo
My sister owed more than $100k to the hospital after her husband died. She sends them $25 a month and will for the rest of her life. She was advised that as long as she made that payment, they will be satisfied.

When my MIL died, it was at a hospital where she had just had carotid endarterectomy surgery. The hospital had a pre-release area where patients were moved the day before they were released. She was there the night before she was to be released and she fell over and was gone in the middle of the night. Then a month later my FIL got a $10,000 bill and all of his grief became outrage that, "That XXX place kills her and then sends me the bill!" He went to their business office and they immediately reduced the bill to about $1,700 and offered to let him pay $10 a month because he was living on pretty slim funds. He did that for a number of months but was so overcome each month when he wrote the check (he'd cry for a couple of days when my wife would have her daily call with him) that I contacted the hospital and asked that the bill and $10 payment be assigned to my wife and me so that my FIL would never see it again. They refused. They said we could certainly pay the $10 a month for him but they were going to send him the statement by mail and email each month. So, it was this strange, "We'll help you out by having a minimal payment but we're going to make you suffer while we do it." kind of thing that the hospital did.
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Re: ‘ How banks and hospitals are cashing in when patients can't pay for health care ‘
Posted by: Acer
Date: November 18, 2022 07:18AM
If only there were a way to share these expenses, so all of us only pay a little, but those of us who need care could get it affordably.
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Re: ‘ How banks and hospitals are cashing in when patients can't pay for health care ‘
Posted by: raz
Date: November 18, 2022 07:20AM
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman
Many hospitals have a policy to completely forgive medical debt if your income/assets are under a certain level, but they usually won't tell you that even if you ask directly. I think it is about 3x the local poverty guideline.

This

I have a buddy on SS disability - so basically zero income. He refuses to go to the hospital because they routinely set up payment plans for him even though he's a charity case.



--------------

Embarassing myself on the Internet since 1978.
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Re: ‘ How banks and hospitals are cashing in when patients can't pay for health care ‘
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: November 18, 2022 07:34AM
…..there is room for negotiation…..never pay first if you have questions about bill because getting refund back from them is an ordeal….relative mistakenly paid bill with error….took over 2 years to get refund….



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: ‘ How banks and hospitals are cashing in when patients can't pay for health care ‘
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: November 18, 2022 07:40AM
And then there's attempting to secure a cost for the service you are about to undergo. Haha. Good luck on that one.



Mischievous and Deceitful
Chicanerous and Deplorable
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Re: ‘ How banks and hospitals are cashing in when patients can't pay for health care ‘
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: November 18, 2022 07:56AM
When our son passed away in 2011 after 8 days in the CCU. His bill was over $500K. He had no insurance except $50k at the college where he was attending. He was uninsurable due to the pre-existing condition of MD. They have hounded us to the point where we contacted our attorney and he said unplug your phone and ignore all calls you don't recognize on your cell phones. He also told that since Jesse was an adult we had no responsiblity for his medical bills. They eventually sent out paper bills for $250K and then down to $125K. I contacted them and got someone very nice on the phone and she said not to worry about it that it would be taken care of and she was going to turn it over to a certain dept. and the bill would be taken care of out of a $16 million dollar fund that was from donations to the hospital. I still remember when ACA came into effect and our Farm Bureau agent that was handling ACA at that time called and wanted us to come in. We went in and the first thing she said was let's get Jesse signed up first and we had to tell her that it was too late and she just broke down.



Grateful11
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Re: ‘ How banks and hospitals are cashing in when patients can't pay for health care ‘
Posted by: Zoidberg
Date: November 18, 2022 08:31AM
The American health care industry is a complete and utter @#$%& show.

My uncle died back in the 90s; how doesn't matter. He lived with my grandmother. He was in his 30s. The hospital sent bills to him - even though they knew he was dead - and my grandmother would just mail copies of his death certificate back to them. (She did this with all of his bills, but only the hospital kept them coming)

As far as I know, the bills continued, every month, even up until her death in the early 00s. Family tried to get them to stop but they kept sending them. It's not like she would ever forget her son, but every month she got a little reminder of the painful way he died, up until she died.

My aunt, who has also since passed, moved into the house, and I believe they still kept coming. After hurricane Katrina they stopped, but only as long as the mail had stopped.

And I'm sure whoever is living in the house now is still getting that bill.



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Re: ‘ How banks and hospitals are cashing in when patients can't pay for health care ‘
Posted by: lost in space
Date: November 18, 2022 09:08AM
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman
Many hospitals have a policy to completely forgive medical debt if your income/assets are under a certain level, but they usually won't tell you that even if you ask directly. I think it is about 3x the local poverty guideline.

This. ^ Local hospital here was exposed as intimidating patients to pay for care even when the hospital knew their debt was forgiven because the patients had incomes too low to be able to pay. This was a Catholic hospital, with a sizeable reserve to cover losses in such cases.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/18/2022 09:08AM by lost in space.
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Re: ‘ How banks and hospitals are cashing in when patients can't pay for health care ‘
Posted by: Zoidberg
Date: November 18, 2022 10:28AM
Quote
Acer
If only there were a way to share these expenses, so all of us only pay a little, but those of us who need care could get it affordably.

agree smiley 100%



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Re: ‘ How banks and hospitals are cashing in when patients can't pay for health care ‘
Posted by: kj
Date: November 18, 2022 10:45AM
I'm glad this was posted. There was a discussion earlier about financing that didn't address this aspect. Any payment plans should be zero interest. People in medical situations are vulnerable, and they are taking advantage, for sure.
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Re: ‘ How banks and hospitals are cashing in when patients can't pay for health care ‘
Posted by: Zoidberg
Date: November 18, 2022 12:17PM
Previously, I had brought up CareCredit, which offers 0% interest. I've used it for a number of sub-$1,000 doctor & veterinarian bills, on various same-as-cash options (typically 6 to 12 months). My daughter had surgery and, though it was not a cheap monthly bill, having the same-as-cash option was very welcomed.

Their regular interest rate is "legal loan shark" territory; just at 27%. And it's like all the predatory credit card setups; even if you only have a buck left at midnight on the date the promo ends, you pay that 27% on the full amount borrowed. (I usually space the same-as-cash like this; if it's 12 months, I divide by 10 and that gives me a couple months safety net. I know not everyone has that option.)



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Re: ‘ How banks and hospitals are cashing in when patients can't pay for health care ‘
Posted by: lost in space
Date: November 18, 2022 02:59PM
Quote
Zoidberg
Quote
Acer
If only there were a way to share these expenses, so all of us only pay a little, but those of us who need care could get it affordably.

agree smiley 100%

It could be called health insurance, but without the profits.



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Re: ‘ How banks and hospitals are cashing in when patients can't pay for health care ‘
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: November 18, 2022 07:00PM
The problem is Congress has a different definition of Single Payer than us single payers.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.” -- François de La Rochefoucauld

"Those who cannot accept the past are condemned to revise it." -- Geo. Mathias

The German word for contraceptive is “Schwangerschaftsverhütungsmittel”. By the time you finished saying that, it’s too late
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Re: ‘ How banks and hospitals are cashing in when patients can't pay for health care ‘
Posted by: Speedy
Date: November 18, 2022 08:27PM
Quote
lost in space
Quote
Zoidberg
Quote
Acer
If only there were a way to share these expenses, so all of us only pay a little, but those of us who need care could get it affordably.

agree smiley 100%

It could be called health insurance, but without the profits.

Perhaps with a catchier name like, oh, I don’t know, perhaps Medicare.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: ‘ How banks and hospitals are cashing in when patients can't pay for health care ‘
Posted by: wowzer
Date: November 19, 2022 10:27AM
The costs are high because the regulations are so intense. The uncountable number of regulations completely overwhelm most hospitals….only by joining larger networks can hospitals figure out the compliance strategies, as it’s too costly to do it alone. More over head and less direct patients care contributes to the cost. Of course, medmal is another major problem. Lastly, Obamacare defunded DSH (disproportionate share hospital) program, which was intended to help cover hospitals which provide care for those who have little resources.

IMO, healthcare spending is a complete mess. I’ve been a doctor, residency director, VP for a $500M annual hospital, assistant dean of med school, and chair of department. It’s really a mess.


[www.fiercehealthcare.com]



All I ever really needed to know, I learned from watching Star Trek.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/19/2022 10:29AM by wowzer.
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Re: ‘ How banks and hospitals are cashing in when patients can't pay for health care ‘
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: November 19, 2022 04:17PM
So Wowzer, what do you think would be a realistic solution that the healthcare industry would accept? (not the politicians or pharmaceutical industry, but doctors and hospitals)



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.” -- François de La Rochefoucauld

"Those who cannot accept the past are condemned to revise it." -- Geo. Mathias

The German word for contraceptive is “Schwangerschaftsverhütungsmittel”. By the time you finished saying that, it’s too late
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