Texas Hospitals Continued to Sue Patients for Unpaid Medical Bills Amid COVID-19
Hundreds of debt collection lawsuits have been filed since Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster because of COVID-19 in mid-March, including more than 345 suits brought by facilities associated with one Tennessee-based company, Community Health Systems Inc., according to the Health Care Research and Policy Team at Johns Hopkins University.
Advocates fear the resumption of debt collection could push Texans, already battered by the pandemic’s economic blows, into financial straits. More than 1.9 million people have filed for unemployment relief in Texas in the last two months.
Dana Karni, an attorney for Lone Star Legal Aid said, “I’d say, fast forward a year from now, regrettably or not, we’ll see a ton of bankruptcy. With a lack of income and mounting bills on cars, medical visits, and other expenses, I don’t see how consumers can come out from all the debt.”