January 5, 2016

Tuesday's Number: $297,435

Tuesday is the day my local paper, the Post-Standard, publishes the weekly business section. In addition to special features, tips from stock experts, budgeting advice and the like, we get the judgment and bankruptcy listings.

This is the fourth full year I’ve been tracking these numbers – I captured part of the year in 2012 – and the third year that I’ve captured filings by hospital.  I include anything that is likely a patient debt owed to a hospital, nursing home, physician or physician group, medical supplier, and so on; I do not include filings by insurance companies, many of which are so diversified it would not be a fair assumption that the filing is related to medical care or health insurance.

In the first three years, the overall total (judgments+bankruptcies, minus satisfied judgments) is $67,965,862 – a staggering amount of money for a relatively small metropolitan area that includes the city of Syracuse and her suburbs, the towns and villages of Onondaga County, and to a lesser extent, some of the even smaller cities, towns and villages in neighboring counties.  

This week, the first Tuesday’s Number of 2016, there were 
  • 21 new judgments to hospitals, doctors, or other medical providers, totaling $290,672
  • no satisfied judgments, and
  • one bankruptcies, for $6,763
Here’s the breakdown by hospital: 
  • Crouse had two, for $12,131
  • St. Joe's had two, including the bankruptcy, for a total of $13,737
  • SUNY Upstate had sixteen, totaling $246,398
A local physician’s group and another regional hospital south of Syracuse accounted for the remaining $25,169.

The paper publishes only those accounts of at least $5,000.