The Judge Will See You Now

The path from an ER visit or hospital stay to a courtroom lawsuit has become so familiar to the people of rural Missouri that they call it the “follow-up appointment.”

Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center is like many financially troubled rural hospitals. Facing $84 million in uncompensated care, it has aggressively gone after former patients for not paying their medical bills, filing 1,100 lawsuits for unpaid bills. Some lawsuits are for $12,000, while others are for as little as $286. 

People in the impoverished region have few options but to negotiate a payment schedule they can ill afford.

The Washington Post

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