Hospitals Want To Cut Back On Free Care. Critics Say No Way.

Five years after Fresno-based attorney Joy Dockter started fighting for patients saddled with medical debt, hospitals continue to go after them — even though most are now insured.

News Story (California)

Pauline Bartolone
California Healthline
February 15, 2018

Tags: Charity Care, Health Care

Organizations mentioned/involved: Central California Legal Services (CCLS)


Hospitals that used to sue uninsured patients for large sums of money before the Affordable Care Act expanded coverage now press to collect as little as $500 from insured patients who can’t afford their copayments and deductibles, she said.

“Our folks are already stretched, and they’re stretched far,” said Dockter, who works with Central California Legal Services. Patients are treated as if they “just went out and bought a big-screen TV and need to pay for it,” when in fact they may qualify for free or reduced care, she said.