Why One New York Health System Stopped Suing Its Patients

May 16, 2024

black and white image of a stethoscope

(KFF Health News) – At Rochester Regional Health, that won’t happen. The nonprofit system in upstate New York is one of only a few nationally that bar all aggressive collection activities. Patients who don’t pay won’t be taken to court. Their wages won’t be garnished. They won’t end up with liens on their homes or be denied care. And unpaid bills won’t sink their credit scores.

American hospital officials often insist that lawsuits and other aggressive collections, though unsavory, are necessary to protect health systems’ finances and deter freeloading.

But at Rochester Regional, ditching these collection tactics hasn’t hurt the bottom line, said Jennifer Eslinger, chief operating officer. The system has even been able to move staff out of its collections department as it spends less to go after patients who haven’t paid. (Read More)

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