Jan 6, 2021 - Health

New York hospitals continue to sue patients over unpaid medical bills

New York's largest health system has continued to sue patients over unpaid medical bills amid the pandemic, even though most other hospitals in the state have suspended their claims, the New York Times reports.

Driving the news: Northwell Health, a nonprofit hospital system that is run by one of Cuomo's closest allies, sued more than 2,500 patients last year for an average of $1,700 in unpaid bills.

  • After the NYT article was published yesterday morning, Northwell said it would stop suing patients during the pandemic and would rescind all legal claims it filed in 2020.
  • Richard Miller, the system's chief business strategy officer, told NYT in an interview last month that the lawsuits filed in 2020 were all regarding care provided pre-pandemic.

Between the lines: New York ordered state-run hospitals to stop suing patients when the pandemic began, and almost all major private hospitals in the state followed suit.

The big picture: Northwell is not the only hospital system that has continued suing coronavirus patients amid the pandemic.

  • As I reported last summer, almost all of the roughly two dozen Community Health Systems hospitals in Florida, Texas and Arizona — some of the summer's hardest-hit states — had sued patients since the pandemic began.
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