When Nonprofit Hospitals Sue Their Poorest Patients
NPR and ProPublica have been investigating the increase in so-called "wage garnishment" by credit card and other companies. For this story, we looked specifically at nonprofit hospitals and found the practice widespread in five different states around the country.
Nonprofit hospitals get huge tax breaks. In exchange, they are obligated to provide financial assistance or "charity care" to lower-income patients.
Some nonprofit hospitals around the country don't ever seize their patients' wages. Some do so only in very rare cases. But others sue hundreds of patients every year.