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MultiCare Doesn’t Care About Patients or Providers

Carmelita Swain’s kids play a lot of sports, so X-rays are a part of life.

What the Tacoma woman didn’t expect was for someone from MultiCare to call her just a week after her two sons were treated at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and demand immediate payment of the $3,000 bill or it would be sent to collections.

“I have Tricare,” Swain said Wednesday, referring to the insurance she receives through the U.S. military as a retired Army medic. MultiCare “told me it wasn’t covered and I had to pay the bill that day.”

Swain’s story was one of a handful featured in a critical report issued Wednesday by Washington CAN, a community organization. The report focuses on two aspects of MultiCare’s collections: “traumatic” point-of-service billing — collecting payment from patients while they’re still in the hospital for treatment — and of “aggressively” garnishing wages and charging unreasonably high interest on medical debt.  Read more here