By Consumers For Quality Care, on March 12, 2020
NewsChannel 5 Nashville reports that “there is one plaintiff who is consistently on the docket” in a Cookeville, Tennessee courthouse these days: The local hospital, home of the county’s only emergency room, suing its patients for more than $20 million per month in unpaid bills.
This issue of Tennessee patients being sued for their medical debt is growing, as CQC reported last year. Overall, one in four state residents have medical debt, and thousands are being taken to court over it, according to a report from the Tennessean.
There’s evidence that “the issue is widespread” in the state, with lawsuits against patients from Ballard Health hospitals “flooding” the courthouse in Greene County in northeast Tennessee.
The local official, Christopher Shepard, has asked for more funding to keep up.
Meanwhile, back in Cookesville, the human toll of these lawsuits hits home.
By the time a person ends up in court, they are typically facing their wages being garnished or in some cases looking at the possibility of bankruptcy.