Goodroot CEO Michael Waterbury wrote this article for Fierce Healthcare following major announcements from the credit bureaus and White House about medical debt.
In an important win for healthcare consumers, the three major credit reporting bureaus announced they are changing their rules around medical debt so that the majority of unpaid medical bills will no longer count against credit ratings.
A few weeks later, Vice President Kamala Harris announced she will lead an effort by the Biden Administration to end predatory collections practices in healthcare.
These are tremendous steps in the right direction to help the one in three Americans saddled with medical debt. Most importantly, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian—as well as the White House—with all of their tremendous influence, have acknowledged that medical debt is different from other types of debt.
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As I’ve argued before, “medical debt” could be more accurately called “healthcare oppression.” It’s not a result of people overspending or making poor decisions. The patient shouldn’t be punished because the broken business side of our healthcare industry has failed them.
This shift from the credit bureaus and attention from the White House is the tip of the spear. Everyone across the healthcare industry has an opportunity to build on this momentum to change the narrative around “medical debt” and eliminate its causes. Here are some potential next steps.
Read the full article as it originally appeared in Fierce Healthcare.
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