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In an effort to maximize revenue, hospitals and doctors are increasingly transforming medical bills Into consumer debts, which are easier to collect and often carry high interest rates and fees. The hospitals and doctors get their cash faster; finance companies, including giants like General Electric and Citigroup, obtain high-interest, high-fee accounts; and patients with little or no insurance end up paying much more for medical care. This new form of medical finance is quietly sweeping through the health care Industry, especially among non-profit hospitals that have had difficulty collecting bills from working poor patients.
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