Hospitals and other healthcare providers often try to develop a brand based on competence and compassion. Patients expect that those treating their medical concerns will truly want them to be as healthy as possible. Many modern doctors now employ a more holistic approach to health and treatment that could include helping someone eat healthier meals during chemotherapy and learning stress-reduction techniques while recovering from heart surgery.
The goal of all of those efforts at patient care and education is to help someone live the best life possible. Unfortunately, the goodwill that doctors may extend to their patients is not necessarily a reflection of the attitude their employer would take toward those who fall behind on payments for their medical debts. For-profit medical facilities and even nonprofit hospitals can be some of the most aggressive and litigious creditors. When people have no means to pay for the treatment that they have already received, medical creditors can worsen their situation.
Creditors may seek liens
State law permits hospitals and other healthcare providers to go to court and pursue a lien against the financial recovery of those harmed by another person. Insurance payouts from someone’s auto insurance policy or the proceeds from a personal injury lawsuit could potentially be subject to claims by medical creditors. Thankfully, the law does limit them to receiving one-third of the amount recovered in most cases. Even so, the funds that people depend on after a major setback could end up diminished by the legal action taken by healthcare providers.
Hospitals hire aggressive collectors
Medical facilities, including hospitals, may have an internal collection department that they supplement by hiring outside professionals. The companies that they utilize might engage in very aggressive collection tactics, including repeatedly calling those who are still recovering from medical issues and initiating lawsuits over unpaid medical debt.
The stress that these medical collection efforts cause can potentially harm someone’s health. One of the only ways to prevent aggressive attempts at medical debt collection is to file for personal bankruptcy. An automatic stay can stop a lawsuit, and a discharge can relieve someone of the obligation to pay off thousands of dollars in medical debt. Learning more about personal bankruptcy may benefit both the health and finances of those enduring aggressive collection efforts related to medical debt.