University of Kentucky bill collection feud heads to Kentucky Supreme Court
By Darla Carter | June 6, 2019 9:30 am
Courtesy of Pixabay
The Kentucky Supreme Court will hear arguments Thursday on whether the University of Kentucky should be allowed to use the state Department of Revenue to collect unpaid medical bills, a practice that can lead to patients’ bank accounts being garnished and state refund checks being withheld.
Several legal groups that represent low-income Kentuckians charge that the practice is unfair to economically vulnerable residents and have filed briefs in support of Sarah R. Moore, a Lexington woman who was billed more than $21,000 for services that she and her family received from UK HealthCare in 2011 and 2012.
“UK HealthCare subjects its patients to a collections process on steroids,” the nonprofit Kentucky Equal Justice Center says in its brief. That includes “surprising UK HealthCare’s patients with extrajudicial levies of both their wages and bank accounts, liens on their properties, and seizure of their state tax returns.”