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When Hospital Systems Lose Their Way

Many hospital systems are set up as not-for-profit systems or incorporate or charter themselves originally as a benefit to the community’s general good, later lose their way.  I remember living just outside of Winchester, Virginia many years ago coming home from work late one evening receiving a collection letter from Valley Health Systems regarding an unpaid medical bill. A health care episode I did not recall but would have been fine paying my bill and had the ability to pay, obviously some confusion that I would later straighten out. What I found most odd about that evening’s mail was while I had the hospital’s aggressive collection letter threatening to sue and use the full force of the law to collect on its self-interests  it was also accompanied within that same day’s mail delivery a letter from the same health care system asking me to donate to their hospital’s fund to help pay for things such as uncompensated care; most of us understand that to be accounts receivables.  All I could think about is how strange a system the nation’s health care had become.

I cannot help feel for individuals such as Heather Waldron and John Hawley who are losing their 4-bedroom home thanks to efforts by University of Virginia Health System.  Read: “UVA has ruined us’: Health system sues thousands of patients, seizing paychecks and putting liens on homes”