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Consumers in All and across the country face too many challenges when it comes to accessing the care they need. Find All #HealthCareReform stories here.

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CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: Kansas Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail

Consumers for Quality Care, May 15, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 15, 2024 Contact: Press@Consumers4QualityCare.org CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: Kansas Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail   WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite being tax-exempt, nonprofit hospitals across the country are making big money at the expense of their patients. The Kansas Hospital Scorecard was created based on recent...

CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: Minnesota Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail

Consumers for Quality Care, May 15, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 15, 2024 Contact: Press@Consumers4QualityCare.org CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: Minnesota Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail   WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite being tax-exempt, nonprofit hospitals across the country are making big money at the expense of their patients. CQC developed the Minnesota Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard based on...

NC Treasurer Supports FTC Blocking Large Health System Purchase 

Consumers for Quality Care, May 8, 2024

North Carolina Treasurer Dale Folwell is supporting the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) effort to block Novant Health’s $320 million proposal to buy two Community Health Systems hospitals, according to Fierce Healthcare.  Folwell has been a leading voice against health care mergers, which often decrease competition, raise the cost of...

Colorado Lawmakers Take Aim at UCHealth’s Deceptive Debt-Collection Practices 

Consumers for Quality Care, May 1, 2024

State lawmakers in Colorado have introduced legislation that would prohibit all entities, including health care systems, from obscuring their own name when they use third-party debt-collection agencies to sue consumers over outstanding debts, according to The Colorado Sun.   This bill was filed in response to The Colorado Sun’s...

Medicaid Expansion Gains Traction in Republican-Dominated Mississippi 

Consumers for Quality Care, May 1, 2024

Republican legislators in Mississippi are exploring a proposal to expand Medicaid in order to provide coverage for more residents, Axios reports.  For years, Republicans rejected the idea of embracing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But now, as more than 40 percent of rural hospitals in the state face closure...

Consumers in Toledo, Ohio to Have Medical Debt Eliminated 

Consumers for Quality Care, May 1, 2024

Residents in Toledo, Ohio are the latest to have their medical debt wiped away, according to WTOL, the CBS affiliate in Toledo.   To provide this debt relief, the nonprofit organization RIP Medical Debt was contracted to negotiate with ProMedica, a local health care system, to buy Toledo residents’ medical...

Private Equity’s Involvement in Health Care Raises Alarms, Prompts Legislative Response

Consumers for Quality Care, April 24, 2024

According to Axios, lawmakers are investigating private equity’s effect on health care, citing concerns about gaps in federal oversight and the decline in patient care standards observed in numerous hospitals following private equity investments.  Earlier this month, U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) held a hearing with federal and state...

PBM Industry’s Anti-Competitive Practices Hurting Independent Pharmacies in Pittsburgh  

Consumers for Quality Care, April 24, 2024

Independent pharmacies in the Pittsburgh metro area are struggling to stay in business, owing to the monopolistic practices of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), according to KDKA, the CBS affiliate in Pittsburgh.  Across the country, more than 300 independent pharmacies have permanently closed in the past three months. Nearly thirty...

New Report Highlights Increasing Use of Facility Fees as “Clear Profit-Gambits”  

Consumers for Quality Care, April 24, 2024

A new report by U.S. PIRG Education Fund, a nonprofit consumer protection organization, sheds light on how facility fees are increasingly used as “clear profit-gambits” that take advantage of consumers, according to Fierce Healthcare.  Hospital-owned clinics are more likely than doctor-owned clinics to charge facility fees for providing the...

Health Care Merger Results in Longer ER Wait Times in the Tri-Cities Area 

Consumers for Quality Care, April 17, 2024

A study conducted by the Tennessee Department of Health, and reported by KFF Health News, found that in the six years since Ballad Health became a 20-hospital system behemoth, ER wait times for consumers have more than tripled.    In 2018, Tennessee and Virginia lawmakers waived antitrust laws to...

Consumer Charged Hundreds by Hospital for a Routine Preventive Colonoscopy 

Consumers for Quality Care, April 9, 2024

An Indiana hospital charged a woman hundreds of dollars for a routine preventive-care colonoscopy that she believed would be covered by her insurance, according to WVPE, an NPR affiliate in northern Indiana.   Karen Campbell, 46, a local news reporter, followed her doctor’s recommendation to get a colonoscopy screening,...

New Laws in Colorado Address the Burden of Medical Debt  

Consumers for Quality Care, April 9, 2024

Although Colorado has become a national leader in advancing policies meant to lessen the burden of medical debt for residents, lawmakers are hoping to do even more, according to The Denver Post.  Last year, Colorado became the first state to prohibit medical debt from being included on consumer credit...

22,000 Ingham County, Michigan Households to Have Medical Debt Eliminated 

Consumers for Quality Care, April 9, 2024

The Ingham County Board of Commissioners recently announced a partnership with the nonprofit organization RIP Medical Debt to bring immediate financial relief to thousands of residents carrying medical debt, according to WILX, the NBC affiliate in Lansing. Armed with a budget surplus this year, the commissioners voted to allocate...

Michigan State Legislature Partners with Nonprofit to Eliminate Medical Debt 

Consumers for Quality Care, April 3, 2024

This year, the Michigan state budget includes a $4.5 million appropriation that is estimated to provide $450 million in medical debt relief for 180,000 state residents. This debt relief will come as part of a partnership between the state and the nonprofit organization RIP Medical Debt, according to Michigan...

Medical Debt Collection Company Violated Consumers’ Rights, Ordered to Pay $800K 

Consumers for Quality Care, April 3, 2024

Washington state recently scored a huge victory against a medical-debt collection company, which must now pay more than $800,000 for violating the patients’ rights against unfair collection practices, according to NBC Right Now.  This case wraps up Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s investigation and lawsuit against the Providence hospital...

MA Hospital System in Peril Due to Private Equity Firm’s Involvement 

Consumers for Quality Care, April 3, 2024

A private equity firm’s controlling stake in a struggling Massachusetts hospital chain has left the system in worse shape after ten years of ownership. Today, the hospital system is still dealing with the fallout, according to Axios.   Cerberus Capital Management took over Steward Health in 2010 and continued...

CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: Colorado Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail

Consumers for Quality Care, April 2, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 2, 2024 Contact: Press@Consumers4QualityCare.org CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: Colorado Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail   WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite being tax-exempt, nonprofit hospitals across the country are making big money at the expense of their patients. The Colorado Hospital Scorecard was created based on recent...

CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: Oklahoma Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail

Consumers for Quality Care, March 26, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 26, 2024 Contact: Press@Consumers4QualityCare.org CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: Oklahoma Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail   WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite being tax-exempt, nonprofit hospitals across the country are making big money at the expense of their patients. The Oklahoma Hospital Scorecard was created based on recent...

CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: Texas Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail

Consumers for Quality Care, March 26, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 26, 2024 Contact: Press@Consumers4QualityCare.org CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: Texas Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail   WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite being tax-exempt, nonprofit hospitals across the country are making big money at the expense of their patients. The Texas Hospital Scorecard was created based on recent...

Hospitals Still Failing to Comply with Federal Price Transparency Standards

Consumers for Quality Care, March 20, 2024

Most hospitals across the country are still not compliant with federal price transparency laws, according to a study conducted by Patient Rights Advocate (PRA) and reported by Healthcare Dive. In fact, a smaller percentage of hospitals are in compliance now than when PRA released their last study in July...

New Jersey Consumer Faces Health Care “Perfect Storm”, Resulting in a $225,000 Bill

Consumers for Quality Care, March 13, 2024

A New Jersey woman spent over six years fighting a $225,000 hospital bill for a pacemaker according to NorthJersey.com. Seiko Bando was admitted to the emergency department at Christ Hospital in 2016 when it was discovered during a routine annual exam that she immediately needed a pacemaker. The procedure...

Consumers Caught in the Middle of Contract Disputes Between Insurers and Providers

Consumers for Quality Care, March 6, 2024

A recent contract dispute between a major insurer and a health system in California put consumers in peril, causing them to be unsure if there would be disruptions with their health insurance or future medical care, according to KFF Health News.  These occurrences are expected to become more frequent...

Colorado’s Largest Hospital System Utilizes Third-Party Agencies to Carry Out Predatory Debt Collection Practices

Consumers for Quality Care, March 6, 2024

A 9News/Colorado Sun investigation done in collaboration with the Colorado News Collaborative and KFF Health News found that for the last four years, UCHealth, Colorado’s largest nonprofit hospital system, has utilized a network of debt collection agencies to sue consumers over outstanding medical expenses, a practice that is considered...

Insurance Company Practice Prevents Utah Consumer From Affording Live-Saving Medication

Consumers for Quality Care, March 6, 2024

A cancer patient in Utah can no longer afford medication that keeps her cancer from progressing because of an insurance company practice that doesn’t credit payments made by drug manufacturers through copay assistant programs towards a consumer’s copay, according to Deseret News. For patients with chronic illnesses who require...

States and Counties Partner with Nonprofit to Eliminate Medical Debt  

Consumers for Quality Care, February 28, 2024

Residents in Alabama and in Wayne County, Michigan will see their medical debt eliminated, according to reporting by The Hill and Bridge Detroit.   RIP Medical Debt operates by negotiating with health care providers to buy medical debt for a fraction of the cost. To maximize the value of...

Pennsylvania Allocates $4 Million to Cancel State Residents’ Medical Debt 

Consumers for Quality Care, February 28, 2024

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro recently unveiled a plan to tackle medical debt in the Commonwealth, WHYY reports.   Unpaid medical bills constitute the largest share of debt collections in the United States. The situation is particularly acute in Pennsylvania, where an estimated one million residents collectively owe $1.8 billion...

Inconsistent Compliance with Federal Price Transparency Rules Found Among Colorado Hospitals 

Consumers for Quality Care, February 28, 2024

This month, the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing released a report showing that many hospitals in the state are likely not in compliance with federal price-transparency rules, according to The Denver Post. These federal rules consist mainly of two requirements: that hospitals publish price information online...

Providence Settlement Reveals Deep-Seated Issues in Nonprofit Hospitals 

Consumers for Quality Care, February 21, 2024

​​A recent settlement between Providence, a sprawling 14-hospital health system, and the Washington Attorney General is shining a light on the dubious practices of nonprofit hospitals, according to Healthcare Dive.   ​In what is being hailed as the “largest resolution of its kind in the country,” the agreement exposes...

Independent Pharmacies Closing as PBMs Continue Anti-Consumer Practices   

Consumers for Quality Care, February 21, 2024

Independent pharmacies in rural communities around the country are closing, due to the monopolistic practices of pharmacy benefit managers, also known as PBMs. This wave of closures has hurt small cities and rural areas in both Kansas and Kentucky, according to​ reports by​ NPR Kansas and WKYT.  ​​​There are...

Connecticut Governor Lamont Unveils Historic $650 Million Medical Debt Cancellation 

Consumers for Quality Care, February 21, 2024

In a historic move, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has announced the cancellation of approximately $650 million in medical debt for 250,000 residents, making Connecticut the first state to provide such sweeping relief.   This groundbreaking initiative, as reported by CNN, addresses the financial strain caused by unforeseen health care...

Living Near a Nonprofit Hospital Does Not Ensure Access to Basic Medical Care 

Consumers for Quality Care, February 14, 2024

Authors of a new book, “The City and the Hospital” found that living near a nonprofit hospital doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you will have access to the medical treatment you may need, according to reporting from The Conversation.   Jonathan Wynn, an urban sociologist, and Daniel Skinner, a political...

Kentucky Journalist Shares Firsthand Struggles She’s Encountered with Prior Authorization 

Consumers for Quality Care, February 14, 2024

The Courier Journal’s Bonnie Jean Feldkamp, who suffers from an autoimmune disease, knows all too well about the prior authorization process, which can often hurt health outcomes by making it harder for patients to access crucial treatments.   Although prior authorization is meant to be a cost-control measure, patient...

Hospitals Charging Facility Fees for Preventive Services   

Consumers for Quality Care, February 14, 2024

Although preventive procedures are covered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), hospitals are charging consumers “facility fees” for these services, according to KFF Health News.   Kristy Uddin, 49, an occupational therapist, is more familiar than most with the complexities of the health care system. She believed that her annual...

Pennsylvania Program to Review Health Insurance Denials 

Consumers for Quality Care, February 14, 2024

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department recently launched its Independent Review Program, which aims to offer consumers another chance to have their medical appeal reviewed when their insurer has already denied an initial appeal for a medical procedure or medication, according to WHYY News.   The Independent Review Program will involve a...

Couple Charged Hundreds in Extra Fees for Routine Preventive Colonoscopy 

Consumers for Quality Care, February 14, 2024

An Illinois couple was charged hundreds of dollars for a routine preventive care colonoscopy that they believed would be covered by their insurance, according to KFF Health News.   Chantal Panozzo, 46, and Brian Opyd, 45, followed the medical recommendation to receive colonoscopies. As small business owners, they purchased their...

CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: California Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail

Consumers for Quality Care, February 13, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 13, 2024 Contact: Press@Consumers4QualityCare.org CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: California Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail   WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite being tax-exempt, nonprofit hospitals across the country are making big money at the expense of their patients. The California Hospital Scorecard was created based on recent...

Oklahoma Town Devastated by Medical Debt and Lawsuits 

Consumers for Quality Care, February 7, 2024

A regional hospital in rural Oklahoma has filed close to 5,000 debt collection lawsuits against the residents of this 18,000-person town since the early 1990s, according to KFF Health News.   Residents like Sherry McKee have been sued multiple times by McAlester Regional Medical Center. McKee was recently sued for...

New Jersey Governor Seeks to Combat Medical Debt 

Consumers for Quality Care, February 7, 2024

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is making it his priority to provide relief to state residents who are suffering from crippling medical debt, as reported by NJ Advance Media.  An estimated 11 percent of New Jersey residents have medical debt. The issue is more pronounced in communities of color,...

Hospitals, But Not Physician-Owned Clinics, Charge Facility Fees for Services 

Consumers for Quality Care, February 7, 2024

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, hospital-owned clinics have been charging patients facility fees, while doctor-owned clinics have not, even when those clinics are owned by the same health system.  Vicki McCool Anderson was in the process of scheduling an MRI for her husband through UW Health when she...

Hospitals Continue to Sue Consumers with Medical Debt 

Consumers for Quality Care, January 31, 2024

A recent study conducted by JAMA (and reported on by the Lown Institute) found that hospitals continue to engage in predatory debt collection practices and other anti-consumer behavior, worsening the medical-debt crisis that affects an estimated 100 million Americans.   The growth of medical debt in America has brought...

Proposed California Hospital Merger Collapses After FTC Files Lawsuit 

Consumers for Quality Care, January 24, 2024

John Muir Health, a nonprofit hospital in California’s Bay Area, inked an agreement early last year to become the sole owner of San Ramon Regional Medical Center, a lower cost competitor. Had the deal gone through, John Muir would have controlled more than 50% of inpatient general acute care...

The Battle for Fair Hospital Pricing Continues 

Consumers for Quality Care, January 24, 2024

More and more, consumers are going to great lengths to avoid seeking care at their local hospital, Bloomberg reports. The out-of-pocket costs of seeking care at a hospital can be high, and moreover, that cost is often unknowable for consumers, thanks to a lack of price transparency from America’s...

Quick, Routine Telehealth Visit Results in Out-Of-Network Charge for One Consumer  

Consumers for Quality Care, January 17, 2024

A consumer seeking some quick medical advice via a telehealth visit through her usual health system was charged more than $600 for out-of-network care, according to KFF Health News.  After returning home from a trip to Rwanda, Elyse Greenblatt, 38, of Queens, New York, scheduled a telehealth urgent care...

Hospitals Found to be Charging Higher Facility Fees Than Surgical Centers

Consumers for Quality Care, January 10, 2024

According to a recent study published in JAMA Health Forum, and reported by Fierce Healthcare, hospital facility fees are 50 percent higher than those charged in similar circumstances by ASCs, or ambulatory surgery centers. Thanks to price transparency rules that were recently enacted, researchers could review data on over...

New York State-Run Hospital Suing Patients Over Medical Debt

Consumers for Quality Care, January 10, 2024

An investigative report conducted by Syracuse.com and The Post-Standard finds that state-run hospitals in New York are engaging in aggressive and harsh medical debt collection practices. Harry Martin, 54, was receiving treatment from Upstate Medical University hospital for his pancreatic cancer. With just months to live, Upstate Medical sued...

New York Law Removes Medical Debt from Credit Reports

Consumers for Quality Care, January 10, 2024

Recent legislation signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul now prohibits medical debt from being included on consumer credit reports for New York residents, as reported by The Associated Press. When debt is included in a credit report, it hurts credit scores, limiting consumers’ access to credit and hurting...

CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: Arkansas Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail

Consumers for Quality Care, January 9, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 9, 2024 Contact: Press@Consumers4QualityCare.org CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: Arkansas Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail   WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite being tax-exempt, nonprofit hospitals across the country are making big money at the expense of their patients. The Arkansas Hospital Scorecard was created based on recent...

CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: North Dakota Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail

Consumers for Quality Care, January 9, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 9, 2024 Contact: Press@Consumers4QualityCare.org CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: North Dakota Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail   WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite being tax-exempt, nonprofit hospitals across the country are making big money at the expense of their patients. The North Dakota Hospital Scorecard was created based...

CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: South Dakota Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail

Consumers for Quality Care, January 9, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 9, 2024 Contact: Press@Consumers4QualityCare.org CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: South Dakota Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail   WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite being tax-exempt, nonprofit hospitals across the country are making big money at the expense of their patients. The South Dakota Hospital Scorecard was created based...

Donna M. Christensen – Many Ohio nonprofit hospitals are ‘nonprofit’ in name only

Consumers for Quality Care, January 5, 2024

As charities, nonprofit hospitals are exempt from paying most taxes. In exchange for tax breaks, nonprofit hospitals are expected to provide tangible benefits to the public. And if they adhere to their missions, if they provide charity care to the needy, if they serve as accessible health care providers...

Maryland Hospitals File Fewer Lawsuits Against Patients Over Unpaid Bills, But Many Consumers Still Find Themselves in Medical Debt 

Consumers for Quality Care, January 3, 2024

Although many hospitals in Maryland stopped suing patients over unpaid bills in 2023, many consumers, particularly those who can least afford it, find themselves struggling under the weight of medical debt, according to The Baltimore Banner.   A new state law requires that hospitals offer affordable payment plans to...

North Carolina Expands Medicaid, Helping 600,000 Residents 

Consumers for Quality Care, December 20, 2023

North Carolina recently joined 39 other states in expanding Medicaid, Healthcare Dive reported.   After debating Medicaid expansion for more than a decade, state legislators found middle ground and broadened Medicaid coverage to include 600,000 more people. This expansion targets low-income residents who previously earned too much to be eligible...

Bipartisan Effort in Ohio Seeks to Rein In Pharmacy Benefit Managers 

Consumers for Quality Care, December 20, 2023

In Ohio, Democrats and Republicans have found something that they can agree on. The largely Democratic city of Cleveland and the state’s Republican Attorney General are joining forces in a lawsuit against some of the largest pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) in the country. They allege that these PBMs use...

Consumer Charged $2,400 for Routine Lab Work Performed in a Hospital

Consumers for Quality Care, December 13, 2023

Reesha Ahmed was eight weeks pregnant when she visited her OB-GYN at Texas Health Hospital Mansfield for a prenatal check-up. She was told to get some lab work done just down the hall from the office. Everything seemed routine, but as she learned later, the hospital charged her $2,400...

FTC Attempts to Block Proposed California Health Systems Merger

Consumers for Quality Care, December 13, 2023

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed an administrative complaint against John Muir Health to block its proposed acquisition of the San Ramon Regional Medical Center, according to reports by Healthcare Dive. John Muir already owns a 49 percent stake in San Ramon Regional Medical Center, a lower cost...

Nonprofit Hospital in Washington State Failed to Inform Eligible Consumers of Financial Assistance

Consumers for Quality Care, December 13, 2023

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s investigation into PeaceHealth, a nonprofit Catholic health system, uncovered inconsistencies in how its hospitals informed low-income patients about their eligibility for charity care, Healthcare Dive reports. Increasingly, nonprofit hospitals are coming under scrutiny from policymakers. The concern is that these hospitals are shirking...

Donna M. Christensen – In Illinois, the term ‘nonprofit hospital’ is an oxymoron

Consumers for Quality Care, December 5, 2023

Re: “Northwestern, UChicago tax breaks under scrutiny in new report” (Aug. 14): Nonprofit hospitals deserve more scrutiny than they tend to receive. As nonprofits, these hospitals are exempt from paying most taxes, but in exchange for this exemption, they are expected to provide community benefits and charity care to patients in...

New York Bill Would Remove Medical Debt from Credit Reports

Consumers for Quality Care, November 29, 2023

Efforts are underway in New York to prohibit medical debt from being included on consumer credit reports, as reported by Spectrum News 1. A bill awaits New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s signature that would lessen the financial harm of carrying medical debt. “We know the impact that that can...

Cancer Patient Died After Michigan Health Insurance Company Refused to Cover Treatment

Consumers for Quality Care, November 21, 2023

Despite a Michigan law that guarantees coverage for cancer drugs, health insurers have been found skirting the law, using loopholes to deny treatment for consumers in need. In the case of Forrest VanPatten,  a cancer patient from Michigan, his insurer’s refusal to cover a drug therapy resulted ultimately in...

New York Cancer Patient Abandoning Critical Cancer Treatment Due to Cost   

Consumers for Quality Care, November 21, 2023

Russell Gosselin is one of the nearly 750,000 New Yorkers with medical debt. Although he has cancer, he is delaying critical treatment for fear of going further into debt, according to New York Focus. Gosselin was diagnosed with a form of throat cancer, which in 2017 forced him to...

Major Nonprofit Hospital Under Scrutiny for Low Levels of Charity Care Being Provided 

Consumers for Quality Care, November 8, 2023

One of America’s most famous hospitals, the Cleveland Clinic, is under scrutiny for how little charity care it provides to consumers, according to Axios.  In 2021, the Cleveland Clinic donated less than 2 percent of its total revenue to charity care, according to a recent analysis from the U.S....

Donna M. Christensen – Nonprofit hospitals must live up to their end of the bargain

Consumers for Quality Care, November 1, 2023

Although it’s often said that we live in a post-truth society, some ideas are so self-evidently true they remain uncontested. No one would argue that nonprofit organizations should engage in profiteering or that charities should treat those in need in uncharitable ways. Unfortunately, many nonprofit hospitals are pursuing their...

Nonprofit Hospitals’ Long History of Public Relations Campaigns and Aggressive Debt Collection Practices

Consumers for Quality Care, November 1, 2023

For over 70 years, nonprofit hospitals have used aggressive public relations campaigns and debt collection tactics as a way to validate medical debt, all while raking in massive profits, according to Time Magazine.  ​​Nonprofit hospitals are incorporated as charitable organizations, but in many instances, their business practices are far...

Atrium Health Ends Practice of Suing Consumers Over Unpaid Medical Bills

Consumers for Quality Care, November 1, 2023

Atrium Health, a major North Carolina health care provider, announced last month that it would no longer file lawsuits against patients over unpaid medical expenses, NC Health News reports. Atrium, which had been the state’s leading collector of medical debt, filed 2,482 lawsuits against patients for medical debt from...

Report: Hospital Prices Posted Online Vary from Prices Disclosed Over the Phone

Consumers for Quality Care, October 17, 2023

A recent study conducted by the University of Texas Medical Branch, and reported by Vox, found widespread disparities between the listed online price and estimates received by phone for medical procedures in 60 hospitals across the United States. Researchers  examined whether hospitals were complying with federal price transparency rules....

U.S. Hospital Pricing Disparities and the Need for Transparency

Consumers for Quality Care, October 11, 2023

Nearly 100 million Americans are grappling with medical debt due in part to the fact that consumers still do not have complete and transparent access to prices for hospital services and procedures, according to CBS Austin. In January 2021, the Hospital Price Transparency Rule was implemented, requiring U.S. hospitals...

Colorado First State to Remove Medical Debt from Credit Reports

Consumers for Quality Care, October 11, 2023

Colorado recently became the first state in the country to enact a law that bars consumer reporting agencies from including medical debt in an individual’s credit reports, according to KOAA News. The medical debt crisis has had far-reaching negative effects on consumers in all 50 states. According to the...

Medical Debt Puts Housing Out of Reach for Millions of Consumers

Consumers for Quality Care, October 4, 2023

The medical debt crisis, which effects an estimated 100 million Americans, forces millions to cut back on essentials, such as food, utilities, and even housing, according to KFF Health News. In communities like Denver, housing prices have skyrocketed in recent years, putting housing out of reach for thousands of...

Arkansas Hospital Sued Consumers, Own Employees, During COVID-19 Pandemic

Consumers for Quality Care, September 27, 2023

Since 2019, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) has been aggressively suing consumers, many of whom were once employees of UAMS, over small amounts of medical debt, according to CNN.   The CNN investigation chronicles the experiences of both employees and patients who received medical care at UAMS...

New Study Concludes Vertical Consolidations of Hospitals Increase Costs for Consumers 

Consumers for Quality Care, September 27, 2023

A newly released study by JAMA Health Forum and reported by Healthcare Dive concluded that  consumers were “steered” toward more costly treatments from health systems that resulted from vertical consolidations. The continued consolidation of health systems, both large and small, has drastically increased consumer costs while doing little to...

CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: Delaware Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail

Consumers for Quality Care, September 25, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 25, 2023 Contact: Press@Consumers4QualityCare.org CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: Delaware Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail   WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite being tax-exempt, nonprofit hospitals across the country are making big money at the expense of their patients. The Delaware Hospital Scorecard was created based on recent...

CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: Florida Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail

Consumers for Quality Care, September 25, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 25, 2023 Contact: Press@Consumers4QualityCare.org CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: Florida Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail   WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite being tax-exempt, nonprofit hospitals across the country are making big money at the expense of their patients. The Florida Hospital Scorecard was created based on recent...

CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: Indiana Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail

Consumers for Quality Care, September 25, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 25, 2023 Contact: Press@Consumers4QualityCare.org CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: Indiana Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail   WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite being tax-exempt, nonprofit hospitals across the country are making big money at the expense of their patients. The Indiana Hospital Scorecard was created based on recent...

CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: New Jersey Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail

Consumers for Quality Care, September 25, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 25, 2023 Contact: Press@Consumers4QualityCare.org CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: New Jersey Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail   WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite being tax-exempt, nonprofit hospitals across the country are making big money at the expense of their patients. The New Jersey Hospital Scorecard was created based...

CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: New York Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail

Consumers for Quality Care, September 25, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 25, 2023 Contact: Press@Consumers4QualityCare.org CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: New York Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail   WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite being tax-exempt, nonprofit hospitals across the country are making big money at the expense of their patients. The New York Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard was created...

CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: Ohio Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail

Consumers for Quality Care, September 25, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 25, 2023 Contact: Press@Consumers4QualityCare.org CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: Ohio Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail   WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite being tax-exempt, nonprofit hospitals across the country are making big money at the expense of their patients. The Ohio Hospital Scorecard was created based on recent...

CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: South Carolina Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail

Consumers for Quality Care, September 25, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 25, 2023 Contact: Press@Consumers4QualityCare.org CQC Nonprofit Hospital Scorecard: South Carolina Nonprofit Hospitals Earn a #HospitalFail   WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite being tax-exempt, nonprofit hospitals across the country are making big money at the expense of their patients. The South Carolina Hospital Scorecard was created based...

Donna M. Christensen – Guest columnist: Profits over patients?

Consumers for Quality Care, September 21, 2023

Many of Kentucky’s hospitals are nonprofit organizations. These institutions receive significant tax breaks at the federal, state and local levels with the expectation that they will operate like charities, providing free and reduced-price health care to those in need and benefiting their communities in the process. Regrettably, many nonprofit...

Confusing Hospital Billing Results in Widow Receiving Bill a Year After Husband’s Death

Consumers for Quality Care, September 20, 2023

Without standardized laws and clearer billing practices, patients are left navigating a convoluted system that can impose financial burdens and add to their grief during already difficult times, KFF Health News reports. The complex and opaque medical billing system in the U.S. often leaves consumers like Eloise Reynolds facing...

Midwest Nonprofit Health System to No Longer Deny Care for Consumers with Medical Debt

Consumers for Quality Care, September 20, 2023

The Minnesota-based nonprofit health system, Allina Health, recently announced it would end its controversial practice of denying non-emergency medical care for patients that have medical debts in excess of $4,500, according to The New York Times. Prior to this announcement, Allina had instructed staff to cancel appointments and lock...

Hospitals Accused of Shifting Medicaid Dollars Away from Low-Income Consumers

Consumers for Quality Care, September 13, 2023

The Biden administration is investigating how some hospitals redirect Medicaid funds from facilities that care for low-income patients to facilities that in some cases provide no Medicaid-covered services at all, KFF Health News reports. These arrangements, the brainchild of hospital lobbying groups, are private and their extent is unclear....

Minnesota State Lawmakers, Consumers Work to Stop Potentially Harmful Hospital Merger

Consumers for Quality Care, September 13, 2023

Minnesota-based hospital system Fairview Health Services recently abandoned, for the second time, its plan to merge with South Dakota-based Sanford Health Services, according to the Minnesota Reformer. Fairview Health Services abandoned this merger, citing a lack of support from “certain Minnesota stakeholders,” an allusion to the labor unions, elected...

St. Paul, MN Looking to Erase $110 Million in Medical Debt

Consumers for Quality Care, August 30, 2023

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter has proposed using leftover federal COVID-19 relief funds to erase millions in medical debt for residents, according to Axios. Medical debt has far-reaching implications for consumers already struggling to make ends meet. These individuals and families are more at risk of facing eviction and...

Hospitals Found Charging Different Rates for Different Plans

Consumers for Quality Care, August 22, 2023

A recent study published by Health Affairs found hospitals are charging commercial health plans significantly higher rates than they do for the same procedures under Medicare Advantage plans, Axios reports. The study highlights the substantial price gaps in the commercial and Medicare Advantage markets. For 46 procedures and services...

Medical Debt Hits Hardest Among Low-Income Marylanders and People of Color

Consumers for Quality Care, August 16, 2023

Roughly 17 percent of Maryland residents facing medical debt encounter compounded challenges, with a disproportionate amount of low-income consumers and communities of color affected, according to Maryland Matters. An October 2020 survey by Economic Action Maryland revealed that 12 percent of consumers had unpaid medical debt, with 26 percent...

Hospitals Receiving COVID-19 Relief Funds Posted Record Margins

Consumers for Quality Care, August 9, 2023

A new JAMA study has concluded that COVID-19 pandemic relief funding helped nearly 75 percent of hospitals report positive revenue during the height of the pandemic, according to Axios.  The recent study raises questions about the amount of funding distributed to hospitals and medical facilities. According to the study,...

Only About One-Third of Hospitals Compliant with Federal Price Transparency Standards

Consumers for Quality Care, August 9, 2023

Although federal price transparency rules have been in effect for more than two years, only about one-third of hospitals are in compliance, according to a study compiled by Patient Rights Advocate (PRA) and reported by The Hill. Since January 1, 2021, hospitals have been required to disclose “clear, accessible...

State Officials Adding to the Medical Debt Crisis by Engaging in Predatory Collection Practices

Consumers for Quality Care, August 9, 2023

While state attorneys general have railed against predatory hospital billing and debt collection practices, they also serve as stewards of taxpayer dollars and collect on unpaid medical debt. Some state officials, like those in North Carolina, can even go as far as garnishing income tax refunds, disproportionally harming low-income...

Donna M. Christensen – Commentary: When it comes to profits, nonprofit hospitals are anything but charitable

Consumers for Quality Care, August 8, 2023

Many of Virginia’s hospitals are nonprofit organizations. These institutions receive significant tax breaks at the federal, state and local levels with the expectation that they will operate like charities, providing free and reduced-price health care to those in need and benefiting their communities in the process. Regrettably, many nonprofit...

Virginia Codifies Federal Hospital Price Transparency Rule Into Law

Consumers for Quality Care, July 26, 2023

Virginia has become the first state to codify into law the federal hospital price transparency rule implemented in early 2021, a move that experts believe will force hospitals in the state to disclose their prices, helping consumers to make informed decisions about their medical care, according to 13 News...

South Dakota Expands Medicaid for Thousands of Low-Income Adults

Consumers for Quality Care, July 26, 2023

South Dakota has expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), making over 52,000 low-income adults eligible for health care coverage, Fierce Healthcare reports. Individuals between the ages of 19 and 64 with incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty level are now eligible to apply for...

150,000 Arizona Consumers Losing Medicaid Coverage, Largely Over Procedural Reasons

Consumers for Quality Care, July 19, 2023

This year, Arizona removed 150,000 people from its Medicaid rolls, more than 75 percent of whom were removed solely for filing errors, according to Arizona Public Media. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, federal protections were enacted to prevent states from dropping consumers from their Medicaid rolls. But...