Hospitals: N.Y. Times Finds Aggressive Debt Collection Despite Charity Care Rules
The New York Times: Hospitals Flout Charity Aid Law
New York’s charity care system, partly financed by an 8.95 percent surcharge on hospital bills, is one of the most complicated in the nation, but many states have wrestled with aggressive debt collection by hospitals in recent years. Like New York, several passed laws curbing hospitals’ pursuit of unpaid bills, including Illinois, California and Minnesota. But a new study of New York hospitals’ practices and state records finds that most medical centers are violating the rules without consequences, even as the state government ignores glaring problems in the hospitals’ own reports (Bernstein, 2/12).
Associated Press/Houston Chronicle: NC High Court To Hear Case Of $14K Hospital Bill
The case of a man who was stuck with a $14,419 bill that he calls inflated and unreasonable after three days of care in a Charlotte hospital is going to be heard by the North Carolina Supreme Court. The case, scheduled to be heard by the state's high court on Monday, is upsetting officials at the state's major medical centers. ... The North Carolina Hospital Association and big hospital groups based in Durham, Asheville, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Raleigh want the Supreme Court to rule against Talford and make it easy for them to collect overdue bills in court without a trial (Dalesio, 2/12).
The Dallas Morning News: Parkland Hospital In Dallas Violated More Than 50 Safety Rules, Monitors’ Report Says
Federally installed safety monitors found that Parkland Memorial Hospital violated more than 50 government health-care standards in recent months, jeopardizing patients through botched surgical procedures, medication errors and dozens of other flawed practices. Those findings are contained in the 270-page report that Parkland leaders are refusing to release to the public, according to people with knowledge of the document. The public charity hospital also has recently distributed internal bulletins, obtained by The Dallas Morning News, alerting the staff to safety practices designed to prevent such failures (Moffeit and Egerton, 2/11).
Georgia Health News: New Grady CEO Speaks -- On The Mission And The Money (Q&A)
Grady Memorial Hospital is the biggest safety-net hospital in the state, and faces formidable challenges financially, with a large portion of its patients being uninsured. ... [CEO John] Haupert took time Thursday for a wide-ranging interview with Georgia Health News on the hospital’s financial status, potential Georgia Medicaid changes, health care reform, and government funding such as the disproportionate share (DSH) program for hospitals that serve a large number of low-income patients (Miller, 2/12).
The Sacramento Bee: California's Mobile Hospitals Are Running Out Of Money And Time
In the heady days of the housing bubble when the median home price in California was $576,000 and the general fund enjoyed a surplus in 2006, the state spent $18.3 million on three mobile hospitals for use in massive emergencies. But in a time of austerity, Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers chose last year to eliminate the $1.7 million to refresh supplies and ensure that an army of workers can build a 200-bed hospital in less than three days. … The state has not once deployed the hospitals since buying them five years ago. That's a good thing, state officials note, since it means California avoided major calamities during that period (Yamamura, 2/13).