Documentary exposes hospital billing practices

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Do No Harm, a documentary that focuses on questionable billing practices at a nonprofit hospital in Georgia, premiered last month and will soon be screened in several more cities around the country. Its subjects aim to bring national attention to what they see as “corrupt” hospital billing strategies.phoebe-sign

The film, directed by Rebecca Schanberg and supported by Chicago nonprofit the Kindling Group, follows two whistleblowers who uncovered a tax-exempt hospital’s aggressive billing practices toward the uninsured. Their actions prompted dozens of class action lawsuits filed on behalf of uninsured patients across the country. AHCJ member Andy Miller makes a cameo appearance in the documentary and was spotted in the audience at the Chicago premier.

There, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan called the documentary “stranger than fiction,” Alex Parker reported in the Chi Town Daily News. Madigan was quick to draw parallels to her own state.

“In the absence of laws to protect health care consumers from overly aggressive billing and collection practices, many Illinois hospitals employed strategies similar to those at Phoebe Putney,” said Madigan, a leader in the state’s efforts to curb expensive billing practices.

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