According to an article in the Dallas Morning News , Texas Health, a $2.6 billion revenue hospital system with the largest market share in North Texas North was forced to implement job losses on Monday. Due to a sharp increase in the number of patients unable to pay their medical debt, Texas Health said they will implement additional job losses to protect its future viability.
The article said:
“The system’s joint-venture hospitals with physicians are profitable and continue to grow as a percentage of the company’s net patient revenue, up 8.6 percent, or $215 million, in 2008.
But sharp increases in Texas Health’s unreimbursed medical care given to the uninsured and underinsured have strained its balance sheet. In his letter, Hawthorne said Texas Health is seeing more patients who are having difficulty paying their bills. This bad debt increased to $57 million in the first quarter, up 15 percent from $49 million in the same quarter last year.”
As millions of Americans lose their comprehensive health insurance due to job losses many more hospitals may become threatened by an increase in uninsured and underinsured patients unable to pay their medical debt. The medical debt accumulated by these patients will be almost completely unrecoverable due to do the patient’s lack of income, assets and their access to bankruptcy relief. Once the number of patients unable to pay their medical debt reaches a tipping point we may see more hospitals filing bankruptcy because they are unable to survive, especially those located in low-income communities.
For those patients who need relief from mounting medical debt, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the best option.