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Unpaid bills stacking up at Utah hospitals

Unpaid bills stacking up at Utah hospitals



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More and more Utahns are having trouble paying their hospital bills.

More people are uninsured or underinsured. Even some people with insurance can't afford their higher deductibles. All this means hospitals are being left with unpaid bills.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports patients did not pay Intermountain Healthcare $154 million last year. That's up 106 percent from the year before. Utah hospitals have increased their charity care 148 percent in the past five years, but they say in the end, people who can pay should pay.

Hospital administrators tell the paper that some of the uninsured refuse to pay. Others don't have the money. So hospitals are using financial counselors to work with patients and requiring down payments for certain procedures. They say someone has to pick up the cost, and the insured may end up paying even more.

E-mail: mrichards@ksl.com

Mary Richards

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