(Tuesday, January 25, 2022) — In collaboration with RIP Medical Debt (RIP), a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Vituity, a physician-owned and led multispecialty partnership, is proud to share that more than 46,000 patients in Oregon and Washington have had their outstanding medical debt on qualified invoices abolished, totaling $25.4 million.
According to the annual survey from Discover Personal Loans conducted in September 2021, three in four Americans owe more than $2,000 in medical debt. This survey found that Americans with medical debt are more anxious about the cost of their medical services than their health.
In another study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, medical debt is identified as the No. 1 source of debt collections, surpassing debt in collections from credit cards, utilities, auto loans, and other sources combined. Poor communities, who have limited means in addition to limited choices for care, are hit hardest by medical debt.
“Vituity is committed to addressing the financial strain on low-income individuals resulting from their healthcare bills”, says Theo Koury, MD, President of Vituity. “Removing barriers to patient care and making it more accessible is central to our mission, and partners like RIP Medical Debt eliminate some of the financial burden that often deters patients from seeking the care they need and deserve.”
RIP’s debt abolishment criteria included debt incurred for emergency department or hospital medicine visits within a six-year period by patients or guarantors with household income between 0-200% of current Federal Poverty Guidelines or representing 5% or more of annual household income.
“Since being approved by the Department of Health & Human Services to work directly with healthcare providers to abolish burdensome medical debts, RIP has sought out partners who share our vision of removing the financial and emotional burden of medical debt”, says Allison Sesso, RIP’s executive director. “We’re proud to be working with Vituity, the first physician group with which we’ve collaborated, to repair the financial standing of so many families during these exceedingly trying times.”
Patients for whom this debt relief has been extended have no obligation to pay this debt to anyone, at any future time, and also do not earn any income or owe any taxes on this cancellation of debt. Those receiving debt abolishment will be notified by a branded RIP envelope sent to their address in late January/early February.
Since being founded in 2014 by two former debt collectors, RIP Medical Debt has acquired — and abolished — more than $5.6 billion of burdensome medical debt, helping over 3 million families and addressing a major social determinant of health. RIP partners with individuals, faith-based organizations, foundations, and corporations and empowers donors by converting every dollar contributed into $100 of medical debt relief.
RIP partners with hospitals and health systems and physician groups to acquire medical debt for abolishment. RIP rose to national prominence on an episode of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver in which RIP facilitated the abolishment of $15M in medical debt.
In December of 2020, philanthropist MacKenzie Scott donated $50 million to RIP to help uplift struggling communities. To learn more, visit: ripmedicaldebt.org/hospitals
For 50 years, Vituity has been raising the standard of care and transforming how, when and where care is delivered. As a physician owned and led multispecialty partnership, our 5,000 doctors and clinicians care for nearly 8 million patients annually across 450 practice locations and nine acute care specialties.
Vituity’s patient focus and commitment to clinical excellence are the driving forces that place us at the heart of better care. Our frontline clinicians and business leaders develop healthcare solutions that improve outcomes for patients and hospitals. Our innovation hub, Inflect Health identifies early-stage health-tech companies and facilitates a connection to physicians for testing and our charitable foundation, Vituity Cares, extends our reach into communities that are most affected by healthcare disparities.
Vituity is driven to continually transform healthcare through our collective passion for patients.