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.
While the judgments weren't bad - only four, totaling $200,962 - it seems we're starting out the quarter on the wrong foot in our other two categories: no satisfied judgments and two bankruptcies, totaling $39,654.
Here’s the breakdown by hospital:
- Crouse had three of the four judgments, for $33,619
- SUNY Upstate picked up the two bankruptcies, for the $39,654 noted above.
The remaining judgment for $167,343 was for a rehab facility in Oswego.
The paper only publishes filings of $5,000 or more.