While most, if not all, people in the medical profession would like to solely focus on taking care of patients and helping people live better, healthier lives, unfortunately, that is not the reality of the industry. The healthcare business is like any other business where you have to stay financially viable in order to continue doing what you love to do most. Healthcare businesses run into a problem with this when it comes to unpaid medical debt. When it comes to medical debt collection in Tennessee and elsewhere, you need to know the specific rules and regulations you face in your state. Here is everything you need to know about Tennessee Medical Debt collection.
Need a cost effective Collection Agency: Contact Us
Medical Debt in Tennessee
The United States as a whole has a major problem with medical debt. Almost half of the adults in the country have medical bills that they are currently paying or, unfortunately, unpaid medical bills they cannot afford to pay. According to a 2016 study, an astonishing 60% of Americans have had to deplete a good portion of their savings at some point to pay medical bills. The problem with unpaid medical bills is most prevalent in the South/Southeast part of the country. And, while Tennessee does rank lower, with fewer people having unpaid medical bills than some of its regional neighbors, it still comfortably ranks in the top half of states for unpaid medical debt. Tennessee has about 1 million people in total with medical debt.
Tennessee Medical Collection Laws
The first thing to know about Tennessee medical debt collection is that when you are looking to collect a debt, you are beholden to all the same federal rules and regulations as any other debt collector. You can find more information about the federally mandated “dos” and “don’ts” of debt collecting on the Federal Trade Commission website and by reading the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
In Tennessee specifically, the law states that hospital bills are due 60 days after leaving the hospital and can be placed in collections by the owed business following that. There is a provision however that uninsured Tennesseans do not have to pay the full amount. Doctors and hospitals in Tennessee have been ignoring this law and trying to collect the full amount which has led to several lawyers planning class-action lawsuits.
Problems faced by Doctors and Hospitals in Tennessee
Like many other parts of the country that are home to a lot of rural towns and cities, rural areas of Tennessee are struggling to meet the healthcare needs of the people who live there. Many hospitals in these areas are struggling financially or closing their doors entirely. The Tennessean has a story about this that includes the fact that in some areas, near the border of other states, the closest hospital is in the next state over. This causes all sorts of insurance and payment problems for both the patients and the medical debt collectors. One way medical companies are dealing with this is to open satellite health services offices to help replace closed hospitals.