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Md. hospitals sue patients despite state subsidies

Gavel in courtroomReporters Fred Schulte and James Drew looked into how low-income people afford care and how the hospitals collects payments. They found that court dockets brimmed with collection lawsuits filed by hospitals and many were filed against people living "in the margins." Some hospitals were trying to collect charges that HMOs or other health insurers had declined to pay and some were assessing massive interest rates. Maryland is the only state that sets the rates hospitals charge, rates that include millions of dollars in subsidies for charity care and bad debt losses.

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