Apr 21, 2021 - Health

UVA Health cancels thousands of lawsuits over medical bills

Hospital invoice

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The University of Virginia Health System said this week it will cancel decades of court judgments and liens over unpaid medical bills from low-income patients.

The big picture: The decision would likely benefit tens of thousands of families and would make UVA Health's collection policy way more lenient than those of many other hospital systems, Kaiser Health News reports.

Details: The cancellation will apply to patients who are at or below 400% of the federal poverty level. This includes a patient who makes less than $51,520 or someone in a family of four who makes $106,000 or less.

  • The health system will also stop blocking enrollment for university students with outstanding balances.
  • UVA Health also said it is in the process of establishing an ombudsperson’s office to help patients determine manageable payment options and to impartially assess an individual’s medical costs. 

Background: UVA Health said last year it would no longer sue future patients over medical bills. Reforms came after KHN published an investigation in 2019 that found UVA Health had sued patients 36,000 times over a period of six years for more than $100 million.

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