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Profiting from the Poor

Inside Memphis’ Debt Machine

An investigation into what keeps poor people poor in a city where wages are low.

Nonprofit Christian Hospital Suspends Debt Collection Lawsuits Amid Furor Over Suing Its Own Employees

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare is reevaluating its policy after an MLK50-ProPublica investigation found that it had filed 8,300 lawsuits in the past five years, including against many of its own employees.

Millionaire CEO of Nonprofit Hospital That Sues the Poor Promises Review of Policies

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare promised a policy review after an investigation by MLK50 and ProPublica found it had sued 8,300 patients — including its own employees — over medical debt. Its CEO has not responded to our questions.

Have You Been Sued by a Hospital, Doctor or Other Memphis Institution? Tell Us About It.

ProPublica and MLK50 are spending the year investigating the institutions that profit from people who are poor in Memphis. Share your story with us.

Low-Wage Workers Are Being Sued for Unpaid Medical Bills by a Nonprofit Christian Hospital That Employs Them

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare has sued many of its own employees over unpaid medical bills and garnishes their wages; its health care plan prevents them from going to competitors with better financial assistance.

The Nonprofit Hospital That Makes Millions, Owns a Collection Agency and Relentlessly Sues the Poor

Nonprofit hospitals pay virtually no local, state or federal income tax. In return, they provide community benefits, including charity care to low-income patients. In Memphis, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare has brought 8,300 lawsuits for unpaid medical bills in just five years.

This Memphis Hospital System Flouts IRS Rules by Not Publicly Posting Financial Assistance Policies

Nonprofit hospitals must post financial assistance policies for the public to see, including in emergency rooms. But Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare’s five Shelby County emergency rooms had no signs or displays when a reporter checked.

How We Tallied Medical Debt Lawsuits and Wage Garnishments in Memphis

We found that Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare filed more lawsuits and won more wage garnishment orders than any other hospital system in Shelby County. Here’s how we did it.

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