Medical Debt Collection Hurts Patient Finances, Reports Say | Local News

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Benford


Sarina Benford, 32, of Madison, noticed that her credit score dropped 50 points this spring after two unexpected medical bills totaling more than $ 1,000 appeared on her report, including one from April 2020, when she went to Meriter’s emergency room.

After years of bad credit, the mother of two, who works as a sales manager at a hotel, was trying to improve her score.

ABC for Health helped her get her bills covered by BadgerCare, the state’s main Medicaid program. “It was a little frustrating to have to go through it and figure it out,” Benford said.

Meriter tries to help patients get BadgerCare if they qualify, Huibregtse said.

Industry Snapshot

In the ABC for Health study, UW Health filed fewer medical debt lawsuits than La Crosse-based Gundersen Health System, which had 1,841, and Wisconsin Children’s Hospital near Milwaukee, with 1,337 UW Health has filed over with St. Louis-based Ascension, which has a dozen hospitals in Wisconsin and has had 131 lawsuits. The Milwaukee and Illinois-based lawyer Aurora is so tall that researchers stopped looking for cases after March 2017, when he had 731 lawsuits.

The health systems were selected because they represent the industry as a whole, Peterson said. Some cases of Meriter, which entered into a joint operating agreement with UW Health in July 2017, could be included in those of UW Health, he said.


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