White text on a green background that reads Hey! The BEST time to support this show with a donation just got even better. Right now, any gift you make, up to $1,000, will be matched TWO for ONE, thanks to a few super-generous Arm and a Leg fans who’ve pooled their dough. . It’s a great deal, and it will set us up to kick maximum butt in 2024. Here’s the link, go for it!

And… are you ready for our most-ambitious story yet? We’ve been working on this investigation all year, with our partners at Scripps News and the Baltimore Banner

With those partners, we’ve dug up some surprising (and possibly uplifting) news about lawsuits in three states – Maryland, New York and Wisconsin — and what that news might mean for the rest of the country.  

This is part two of a two-part series. In part one, we examined the phenomenon of hospitals suing patients in bulk – sometimes hundred or thousands at a time – over unpaid bills. 

We learned that in many cases, those patients are struggling financially, and that the lawsuits aren’t very lucrative for hospitals anyway. So why did they happen in the first place? As one former collections industry insider told us, those decisions are “philosophically based.” 

In this episode — before getting to those surprising/hopeful findings — we try to understand that “philosophy,” perhaps best described as: business-as-usual. We speak with a former hospital billing executive and a representative from the third-party collections industry. 

This series is produced in partnership with the McGraw Center for Business Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York.

… and supported by the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

Here’s a transcript of this episode.

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