Lieff Cabraser is investigating reports that Providence, one of the country’s largest nonprofit hospital chains, has since 2018 been improperly charging low income patients who were supposed to receive free care. The New York Times reports that Providence created training materials for their hospital staff instructing them how to approach patients and pressure them to pay.
“Ask every patient, every time,” the materials said. Instead of using “weak” phrases — like “Would you mind paying?” — employees were told to ask how patients wanted to pay. Soliciting money “is part of your role. It’s not an option.”
The New York Times further reports that when patients did not pay—even patients supposed to get free medical care under state law—Providence sent debt collectors to pursue them. These and other protocols intended to harass and pressure patients were implemented despite the fact that nonprofit hospital chains like Providence enjoy lucrative tax exemptions (amounting for Providence to more than $1 billion avoided in taxes every year), exemptions for which the hospitals are required by the IRS to provided services, such as free care for the poor, that benefit the communities in which they operate.
According to its website, the Providence chain includes 52 hospitals and more than 1,000 clinics across California, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Montana.
If you or a family member were charged for medical care by a Providence hospital that you think should have qualified for free care, or you have been subject to aggressive collection methods by Providence, we urge you to speak with a consumer protection and consumer fraud lawyer at Lieff Cabraser today. Any information you provide will be held in the strictest confidence, and will help us hold accountable Providence and any other hospitals seeking to increase their profits by such illegal and unethical conduct.
Providence paid McKinsey at least $45 million in 2019 to develop Rev-Up, a “playbook for wringing money out of patients — even those who were supposed to receive free care because of their low incomes” –Olivia Solon of Bloomberg News
Lieff Cabraser advises consumers as well as businesses whether and how to pursue legal action to halt and obtain compensation for the deceptive practices of large corporations. With a blend of courage, superior legal skills, and high principles, we protect our clients’ interests and help them achieve their goals by winning highly-complex consumer protection lawsuits against those that have defrauded consumers. We have successfully prosecuted scores of consumer class action lawsuits against many of the largest U.S. banks, financial service companies, and corporations. Working with co-counsel, we have achieved judgments and settlements in excess of $20 billion for consumers in these cases.