CCHCC began organizing around medical debt in 1997 to address harmful medical billing and collection practices by local health care institutions as well as to advocate for timely, affordable access to needed medical care for everyone,including consumers with medical debt. CCHCC organized the Community Coalition on Medical Debt, which is led by affected consumers and concerned community members, including representatives of social service organizations.
Our local work on medical debt resulted in national attention to non-profit hospitals’ aggressive debt collection practices, including the jailing of low-income consumers who owed hospital bills (a practice which has since ended). Our medical debt work has also included the publication of a consumer rights pamphlet for low-income consumers being sued for medical debt, and several national reports on medical debt with the Boston-based advocacy group, The Access Project. Our work has resulted in bringing national attention to the problem of medical debt and hospital charity care and financial policies.
CCHCC’s Community Coalition on Medical Debt has focused its efforts on organizing to address broader issues of medical debt, debt collection, Health Care pricing, and “charity care” (community care programs providing free and discounted care) at local non-profit hospitals and physician-owned clinics.
the community Coalition on Medical Debt has a committee of representatives who meet monthly with hospital officials to work together to reform and improve the hospitals’ policies and practices, and coordinate community outreach and education efforts. The Community Coalition also works to shape health care reform at the state and national levels. CCHCC’s hospital and medical debt work has been featured in several Wall Street Journal articles, USA Today, Modern Health Care, and Health Leaders Magazine, among other publications.