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Expand chart
Data: JHU; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee has taken plenty of court actions in pursuit of getting paid for medical services provided. But in the last year, those efforts have taken the form of hospital liens.

Why it matters: Froedtert offers a look at the different legal avenues large hospital systems use to collects on patient debt.

By the numbers: Froedtert filed 3,278 court actions and pursued $15.4 million from patients between 2018 and mid-2020, according to new research by Johns Hopkins University provided exclusively to Axios.

What they're saying: Spokesman Stephen Schooff said that Froedtert Health, which includes Froedtert Hospital "suspended filing small claims suits" in March of 2020 and that "this policy will remain indefinitely."

How it works: Hospital liens aren't liens against personal property. They can allow hospitals to claim a portion of any personal injury settlement — and can catch patients off guard.

  • “They just sent me this bill saying that they were going to put a lien on my name, and I just kind of panicked,” Maneisha Gaston told Wisconsin Watch about learning of a hospital lien on her name following treatment for injuries from a car accident.

But: They can be costly for patients insured by Medicare or Medicaid, but good for uninsured patients, Lance Trollop, a personal injury attorney Wausau, Wisconsin told Axios.

  • "In some ways, a hospital filing a lien and just waiting until they get that bill paid back can be a good thing in the sense that it's better than a hospital taking a collection action and impacting someone's credit," Trollop said.

Go deeper: Explore the full Axios-Johns Hopkins analysis

Go deeper

Aug 30, 2021 - Health

The vaccine wave kept health care as profitable as ever

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Hospitals, drug companies, health insurers, medical device manufacturers and other health care suppliers generated record sales and profits during the second quarter, according to an Axios analysis of financial statements.

The big picture: Health care spending soared as Americans got vaccinated and resumed seeing their doctors between April and June. However, the coronavirus is raging again and may change behaviors going into the flu season.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
3 hours ago - Health

FDA panel endorses shot of J&J booster for adults

Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Members of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine expert panel on Friday unanimously endorsed a booster shot for adult recipients of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine at least two months after the initial dose.

Why it matters: The advisory committee raised concerns about a dearth of data to support their decision but ultimately decided to support an additional shot for those over 18.

Capitol Police officer indicted for obstructing Jan. 6 investigation

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Brent Stirton/Getty Images

A U.S. Capitol Police officer has been indicted on obstruction of justice charges for allegedly helping hide evidence of a participant's involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.

Driving the news: Officer Michael A. Riley, 50, is accused of telling the unidentified participant, referred to as "Person 1," in the Jan. 6 riot to delete posts from Facebook, which showed them in the Capitol during the attack.