Mississippi Hospital Knew Patients Couldn’t Afford Care. It Sued Them Anyway.

St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson, with 571 beds and nearly 5,000 employees, is one of the state’s largest hospitals and oversees a chain of clinics in the metro area. It has annual operating expenses of roughly half a billion dollars. Sarah Warnock/MCIR

St. Dominic is a nonprofit hospital in Jackson, Mississippi, where more than 25% of residents live in poverty. Nonprofit hospitals like St. Dominic pay almost no taxes and in return, they’re supposed to provide a charity care policy for poor patients. But, as Giacomo Bologna uncovered in his new report for The Mississippi Center For Investigative Reporting, tax filings reveal the hospital has been billing thousands of poor patients who should be qualified for charity care. And these bills often turn into lawsuits.

As Bologna reports, the hospital has sued thousands of patients — and more than 100 of its employees — over medical debt in recent years. St. Dominic’s debt collectors garnished wages, seized bank accounts, damaged credit, and drove folks into bankruptcy. Read his full report, here