UVA Health to drop thousands of lawsuits against patients for unpaid bills

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University of Virginia Health will wipe out a decades-old backlog of court judgments and liens resulting from lawsuits it brought against patients for unpaid hospital bills, the Charlottesville-based health system said April 19.

For decades, UVA Health has sued thousands of patients for unpaid bills. Once the health system won a case, it would often seize a patient's wages or home value when it was sold, according to Kaiser Health News.

UVA Health said it will release all liens and judgments for patients who are at or below 400 percent of the federal poverty level. However, most patients who have already surrendered money due to a UVA Health lawsuit or lien will not recoup it.

The health system also said it will establish an ombudsperson's office to help patients understand payment options and ensure a fair assessment of individual patients' cases.

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