Settlement to erase medical debt for thousands of patients at Deaconess, Valley hospitals

Thousands of patients at Deaconess and Valley hospitals throughout the Inland Northwest are looking at the possibility of their medical debt being erased.

A legal settlement with Community Health Systems, a Tenessee-based company that owns the hospital, says it will forgive up to $50 million in medical debt for patients who received care between Nov. 1, 2008, and June 30, 2017.

According to the lawsuit, CHS failed to provide as much charity care as it was supposed to during that time.

Up to 15,000 people who were treated at Spokane-area hospitals could be eligible to have their debts discharged, CHS said.

If you’re one of those patients, you should be receiving a letter in the mail next month.

From there, Northwest Justice Project will help patients recover their credit. Call (844) 787-8822 for more information.

“This settlement does not involve MultiCare bills or payments made to MultiCare,” said Kevin Maloney, media coordinator for MultiCare Inland Northwest. “If patients are receiving a bill from MultiCare for services at Deaconess, Valley or Rockwood Clinic, that bill still is valid.”