Bass, Berry & Sims attorney David Esquivel provided insight for an article in Healthcare Finance about the growing trend for hospitals to use credit checks to determine a patient's ability to pay healthcare bills. As costs rise for both health insurance and hospital stays, many hospitals are faced with patients inability to afford care. "Where I've seen it used is whether it's worth your while to try to collect. We have clients who offer a product to hospitals. They do an analysis, credit history, the amount owed, a hospital's charity policy. They advise the hospital: put money into collections or this is somebody it's not worth doing that, you might as well write it off as charity care," said David in the article. But, as David also points out in the article, "hospitals must treat credit reports with the same respect for privacy as health records."
The full article, "Hospitals Increasingly Using Credit Checks to Understand Whether Patients Will Pay," was published by Healthcare Finance on March 16, 2016, and is available online.
The Healthcare Finance article and David's comments were included in a separate article, "Credit Checks Can Go a Long Way in Determining Consumers' Ability to Pay," published by ACA International on March 17, 2016 and is also available online.