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.
I have a sneaky feeling this series will be winding down soon, based on what was in the paper today - or maybe, based on what wasn't in the paper. I'll have to wait until next week to see if there's a trend or if this week is just an outlier -- so stay tuned.
There was one new judgment this week, for $10,815; there were four satisfied judgments, totaling $132,965, and there was one bankruptcy, for $83,262.
Here’s the breakdown by hospital:
- Crouse had three filings, including a repayment, for a net of $87,609
- St. Joe’s added a repayment, for a net credit of $23,199
- SUNY Upstate had one - a repayment - for a net credit of $6,807
The largest filing - a repayment of $96,491 - was credited to a local nursing facility.
The paper only publishes filings of $5,000 or more.