A non-profit hospital with a tax-free status has repeatedly prosecuted its own employees for unpaid medical matters, it has been revealed.
Since 2014, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, based in Memphis, Tennessee, has filed more than 8,300 lawsuits against patients, including its own employees, according to a joint report from MLK50 and ProPublica.
After winning judgments, the health care system has tried to decorate the wages of more than 160 employees and has done so in more than 70 cases at the time, according to the analysis of the records of the Shelby County General Court, online docket reports file files.
The cases included a hospital housekeeper who earned $ 16,000 and was prosecuted in 2017 for more than $ 23,000.
Since 2014, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare with headquarters (above) in Memphis, Tennessee has filed more than 8,300 lawsuits against patients, including its own employees.
Methodist is one of the largest employers in the region, with more than 11,000 employees.
About 18 percent of employees earn less than $ 15 per hour, some just $ 10 per hour, according to MLK50.
Although employees receive health insurance, the insurance states that they should receive Methodist care, even though other providers offer a more generous financial assistance policy, according to the report.
Methodist's policy does not provide assistance to patients with some form of health insurance, regardless of their own costs.
According to Methodist's insurance plan, employees are responsible for an individually deductible amount of $ 750 and then 20 percent of the costs for inpatient and outpatient care, up to a maximum present value of $ 4,100 per year.
The healthcare system is supported by the Memphis, Mississippi and Arkansas conferences of the United Methodist Church.
As a tax-free hospital system, Methodist is exempt from local, provincial, and federal taxes, and in return it must offer significant community benefits.
Methodist offers some care to charities and estimates community benefits as more than $ 226 million a year.
A Methodist spokesperson did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com on Saturday night, but the organization did take a long time statement to MLK50.
"Outstanding patient debts are only sent to the collections and then to the court as a last resort, and only after the ongoing efforts to work with the patients are exhausted," the statement said.
"We strongly believe in providing exceptional care to all members of the community – regardless of the ability to pay."
Methodist said it gives an automatic 70 percent discount to uninsured patients and free care to uninsured patients on or below 125 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.
The board of health care consists of three methodistic bishops: Bishop Gary Mueller, Bishop Bill McAilly and Bishop James E. Swanson.
No comment offered when contacted by ProPublica.
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