If I mention Frank Vandersloot, Idaho, and medical debt collection, that may trigger your memory of a billionaire who lobbied and advocated for the enactment of the Idaho Patient Act, a law that went into effect two years ago that cracked down on what it labeled to be “aggressive” collection of medical debts. That law is being challenged in court, and yesterday, a judge in Idaho ruled that the Idaho Attorney General will be allowed to intervene in the case in order to argue that the law is not unconstitutional.
Vandersloot, considered to be the richest person in Idaho and the chief executive of Melaleuca, has accused attorneys on both sides of the case in question of engaging in “unethical behavior” and violating professional ethics in their attempt to have the law overturned because it is unconstitutional. There is no love loss between Vandersloot and the attorney challenging the law.
A collection lawsuit was filed in 2021 related to a medical debt that went unpaid. The lawsuit, according to Melaleuca was “fabricated” and claims that the attorneys on both sides are friends with one another, and that the individual who incurred the debt is a former employee of the attorney challenging the law.
Both attorneys opposed the intervention of the Attorney General, according to a published report, but the judge decided to grant the motion. The next hearing in the case has been scheduled for early May.
The motion to intervene was originally filed by Lawrence Wasden, who served as the AG of Idaho for 20 years, before being defeated in a primary last year by new Attorney General Raul Labrador. Wasden argued that because the healthcare provider is arguing that the Idaho Patient Act is unconstitutional by violating the First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments, his office had the right to intervene and make its case why the law is not unconstitutional.