About a week ago, the New York Times broke a major story on the issue of hospital billings and collections. It’s an issue we’ve done a lot of work on, leading to the passage of the Hospital Fair Pricing Act in 2006, and educating pa tients about the consumer protections in California law through our website, http://www.hospitalbillhelp.org/.
But while we heard lots of horror stories about aggressive billing and collections practices by hospitals, the story of Accretive Health was new, as the company was seen as embedding debt collectors in the emergency room and at the bedside. Since then, the article in the Times has spurred other reports in radio, TV, and even the business press, as they watched Accretive’s stock market position dive. We are looking into whether California hospitals have similar arrangements, getting around some of the consumer protections we put in place in California in 2006.
We are glad this story is getting national attention, and not just because we are quoted in it. For one, it provided Stephen Colbert fodder not just on health policy in general, but on the need for the Affordable Care Act as well. Take a look…