“Struggling” hospitals are making a killing on debt collection
Due to slim profit margins on patient care, some of the country’s largest hospital owners have decided to get into the business of debt collection.
High healthcare prices have decimated patients and hospitals alike, leaving many unable to pay their bills and forcing the one institution whose sole purpose is to take care of us to break bad.
What kind of bad are we talking here?
According to estimates from economists, the amount of past-due medical debt in the US is around $75B — and with impending cuts to Medicare, they venture that 60% of hospitals will become unprofitable in the next year.
To supplement their income, big hospital operators have cut out the middle-man over the past few years and decided to shake down patients with past-due payments themselves.
Like Tenet Medical Group
Instead of paying a percentage to outside financial departments, Tenet’s healthcare management company, Conifer, allows them to keep all of the money their patients owe.
On top of that, they’ve managed to pare down their own $15B of debt by selling off some of their hospitals but keeping them on as customers with Conifer.
Basically, hospitals have put the whole “patient care” aspect of medical facilities on the backburner and decided to become full-blown collections agencies, all while turning a profit on their debt.