N.Y. Court Automatically Scheduling Mediation Sessions After Hospital Starts Filing More Suits

Another media outlet is taking another hospital out to task for filing lawsuits against individuals with unpaid medical debts. This time, however, the sudden influx of suits has the local city court automatically scheduling sessions with a mediator before the case gets before a judge.

This time, the hospital is Glens Falls Hospital in Glens Falls, N.Y. After filing nine lawsuits in January and February of this year, the hospital has initiated suits against “dozens” of former patients who allegedly have unpaid bills. The first 26 patients were scheduled to meet with a mediator yesterday.

The mediator said in the report that “anything is on the table,” from discussing payment plans to bartering for services.

Some of the patients have responded to the lawsuits saying they don’t owe the debts, that the hospital has not responded to requests for copies of payment histories, and that problems with a changeover in computer systems that led to 20 months of billing problems have led to mistakes with their accounts.

The report out of Glens Falls follows similar reports that have been published in Memphis and Virginia, which have criticized hospitals for being too aggressive with their collection efforts. In some cases, the hospitals have been pressured to the point where they have announced they will no longer pursue legal options when seeking payments on unpaid medical debts.

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