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 was $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 neighboring towns and villages. As I reported in the 2015 recap, we turned sharply down last year – some $7M – and the hope is that we will continue to see progress in the overall total. Of course, a better sign of health would be an increase in the number of satisfied judgments; people’s ability to pay off their debt (or their willingness, as the case may be) is something else I’m hoping to see this year.
There were 16 new judgments this week, totaling $280,559. No satisfied judgments or bankruptcies were listed. Here’s the breakdown by hospital:
- St Joe’s had one, for 32,384
- SUNY Upstate had the other 15, totaling $248,175
Crouse and Community, SUNY’s other campus, did not have any filings reported.
A few days ago, SUNY Upstate announced a profit of $120M for 2015, well above the $17M earned in 2014. Better than half of the profit resulted from selling its share of a local lab service and what’s described as a “one-time increased government payment for serving large numbers of Medicaid and uninsured patients.” For for 2014, 2015 and year to date in 2016, total reported judgments and bankruptcies (net of repayments that have been tracked) for SUNY is $26,535,736.
The paper only report filings of $5,000 or more.