Major Bombshell from Duke and OST: Hospitals Sued 7,517 Patients and Family Members Over Medical Debt

Yesterday I held a press conference, joined by experts from Duke Law School and other medical experts.

In summary, North Carolina hospitals sued 7,517 patients and their family members to collect medical debt from January 2017 through June 2022, according to a new study jointly authored by Duke Law School faculty and the Office of State Treasurer (OST). Many of these legal actions resulted in default judgments in state district courts and included awards of 8% interest charges on patients’ medical debt. In total, interest charges and other added fees accounted for 35.4% of the $57.3 million in total judgments owed by patients. Nonprofit hospitals were responsible for 90.6% of the 5,922 lawsuits against patients.


Photo Credit: Rose Hoban, NC Health News

“This is tantamount to elder abuse. Hospital are supposed to care for patients – not overcharge them, sue them and take their homes. These hospitals are destroying the upward mobility of whole families, hurting cancer patients’ recovery, and creating intergenerational poverty. They must be stopped.” – Treasurer Dale Folwell

You can read the many articles about these findings that are linked on my media page.

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