Louise Carwell appears on WYPR-FM’s “Midday” talk show

Legal Aid Housing/Consumer Law Unit senior attorney Louise Carwell

Legal Aid Housing/Consumer Law Unit senior attorney Louise Carwell

Yesterday’s Midday show on WYPR-FM, hosted by Sun columnist Dan Rodricks, featured Maryland Legal Aid senior attorney Louise Carwell, who talked about the plight of low-income people victimized by hospital debt collection practices. “We’ve always seen Legal Aid clients sued by hospitals for bills they don’t owe,” Carwell said. “We find individuals covered by Medical Assistance who get billed by hospitals. It’s a problem between the hospital and Medical Assistance, but they go after the patients.” Also on the program was Sun reporter James Drew, co-author of “In Their Debt,” a series on hospital debt collection practices that ran late last year. The series found that hospitals filed more than 132,000 lawsuits against their patients from 2003 to mid-2008, collected more than $100 million through judgments and imposed more than 8,000 property liens across the state, even though hospitals’ costs of providing free and unpaid care are supposed to be covered in the rates they charge. Carmela Coyle, president and CEO of the Maryland Hospital Association, also appeared on yesterday’s show.

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