Medical debt continues to be a plague on consumers and the financial well-being of the average Florida and American household. A report recently release by The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) estimates approximately $88 billion of medical debt is showing up as delinquent on consumer credit reports. That's not even the worst of it, because much of that debt is being charged inaccurately. The report claims that much of that debt is due to the complicated and burdensome task of tracking medical billing software which leads to errors in hospital bills that are hard to correct. In our experience suing hospitals, we believe the inaccuracies are a matter of fraud and that hospitals are taking advantage of a complex system that consumers cannot begin to understand. We have found numerous instances where hospitals do not allow for write-offs required by law and instead collect full PIP and health insurance benefits and then turn around and bill consumers for balances they are not legally required to pay. Hospitals use billing software after all and that software is programmed to accept the write-offs, but at some level hospitals intentionally look to soak consumers.
The CFPB calls this the “doom loop” because consumers can't escape. To make matters worse, our credit reporting system has fully become a tool to extort consumers into paying medical bills, even if they are inaccurate.
The report also found the following:
- 20% of US households have delinquent debt on their credit reports. That is more than 43 million consumer.
- The majority of medical debts currently reported on credit reports is less than $500.
- Negative marks on credit reports for medical debt is most prevalent among black and brown Americans living in the South due to poor healthcare and lack of access to Medicaid.
- In 2021 medical debt was the most common debt found on credit reports.
The fact that medical debt is the most common debt found on credit reports is a sign that our economic system doesn't work. When consumer credit reports show more medical debt than mortgages that is a big problem.
If you are being billed for medical debt even though your insurance paid it then give us a call today.