Connecticut hospital known for suing patients to be investigated by state

A state health agency will probe Danbury (Conn.) Hospital's record of debt-collection lawsuits, according to the News-Times.

The probe follows a study that showed the nonprofit hospital is the state's most litigious in suing patients. The study, from a UConn Health researcher, examined state Superior Court data he received through a Freedom of Information Act request. His analysis found that nearly half of the 13,824 total medical debt cases filed in Connecticut in 2016 involved Danbury Hospital, the Harvard Business Journal reported earlier this month.

The Connecticut Office of Health Strategy has expressed concerns about the study's findings.

"This data on Danbury Hospital is very concerning and raises a lot of questions," Vicki Veltri, executive director of the agency told the News-Times. "OHS is going to review Danbury Hospital's reported debt-collection practices."

Danbury Hospital — which is part of LaGrangeville, N.Y.- and Danbury-based Nuvance Health — announced earlier this month that it was reviewing its debt-collection policies. And on Nov. 18, the hospital announced it was changing its policy, according to the newspaper.

The hospital did not provide specifics to the newspaper, but spokesperson Andrea Rynn said: "Our collection practices have always been based on a desire to treat people fairly and at the same time recover money that is owed to us. This report has identified that our practices need to be modernized, and we have already begun to make those changes."

The state agency's review will include the hospital's debt-collection policy and its debt recovery rate, and potentially patients' bills, a spokesperson told the News-Times.

Read the full News-Times report here.


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