MO hospital sued over allegedly illegal collections practices

A Missouri hospital has been sued over allegations that it allowed its captive collections agency to collect without letting debtors know the agency was owned by the same company as the hospital. Kansas City Attorney Derek Potts filed suit against the hospital, Heartland Regional Medical Center, on behalf of three clients, and is asking the court for class action status.

The hospital, based in St. Joseph, MO, is owned by Heartland Health Inc. Meanwhile, the collection agency, Northwest Financial Services, is owned by Midwestern Health Management, which is also owned by Heartland. The lawsuit contends that Northwest is a "fictitious" company that misrepresents itself when it refers to the hospital as a "client." Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, collectors aren't allowed to mislead debtors about who's collecting payment from them.

To learn more about the case:
- read this InsideARM article

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