Tax-exempt hospital sues thousands of poor people while making millions

The exterior of Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

Enlarge / The exterior of
Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. (credit:
GettyBloomberg
)

An “especially aggressive” nonprofit hospital system in Memphis
that made $86 million after expenses in 2018 and pays virtually no
taxes has spent years relentlessly suing thousands of low-income
patients over medical debts, according to
a new investigation by ProPublica and local reporting-network
member MLK50
.

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare runs six hospitals around
Memphis, a city in which about 25 percent of residents live below
the poverty line. The hospital system, which made $2.1 billion in
revenue, charges low-income patients interest on their bills and
regularly garners their meager wages when they don’t pay up. The
hospital system owns its own collection agency to pursue
debtors.

From 2014 to 2018, Methodist filed more than 8,300 lawsuits for
unpaid medical bills. Through the courts, it secured garnishment
orders in 46 percent of those cases.

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
Tax-exempt hospital sues thousands of poor people while making millions