Idaho’s Medical Debt Collection Practices Are Broken

Did you know?

  • When a medical debt collection company sues you, they can charge YOU for their legal fees.
  • After the attorneys sue you for legal fees, they can come back and add more fees because . . .
  • There is no cap to the legal fees a medical debt collection company can tack onto your medical bill. You could pay many times more in legal fees than your actual medical bill! They sued you, and then they can add more fees again and again.
  • Because some medical debt collection companies are owned by lawyers, they would rather take you to court and sue you than arrange a payment plan. It’s not about collecting the medical debt; it’s more about running up legal fees. That’s how they make their money!

One in seven Idahoans1 had a medical debt in collections in 2019. (And that doesn’t count medical debt that was put on a credit card.)

The medical billing process is confusing for everyone. Sadly, there are those who exploit this confusion to prey upon hardworking citizens. And that means that anyone who gets medical treatment here in Idaho is at risk.

Four Ways Patients Are At Risk

  1. Bills that come several months after treatment
  2. Getting bills from unknown doctors
  3. No time to dispute a bill, and if you dispute it, they add on attorney fees
  4. Lawyers charge the maximum they can—and they come back to add more attorney fees again and again.

Every Idahoan Is at Risk

Medical debt is something that affects every Idahoan. It is rare when a doctor can tell you the cost of a service before it happens, meaning that the moment you walk out of a doctor’s office, you have medical debt hanging over your head.

We want our doctors to get paid for their services. We believe that with a little transparency and better billing practices, there will be less confusion and fewer Idahoans will be sent to collections where the abuses can occur. Medical debt in collections effects one out of every seven Idahoans1. The Idaho Patient Act encourages better billing processes and will put an end to egregious medical debt collection practices.

  1. “Debt in America: An Interactive Map.” December 31, 2019.
  2. Michael Batty, Christa Gibbs, Benedic Ippolito. “Unlike Medical Spending, Medical Bills in Collections Decrease with Patients Age.” July 25, 2018.
  3. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “Consumer Credit Reports: A Study of Medical and Non-Medical Collections.” December, 2014.