Radius Global Solutions, LLC has run afoul of Washington’s consumer protection law by refusing to provide impoverished St. Joseph’s Medical Center patients with statutorily required notices of Charity Care rights amid its attempts to collect medical debts from the state’s “neediest citizens,” a proposed class action alleges.
The three-count, 23-page lawsuit claims Radius, formerly known as Northland Group, has violated Washington’s Consumer Protection Act with regard to providing mandatory Charity Care notices despite a 2019 consent decree between the state’s attorney general and St. Joseph’s over the hospital’s “years’ long pattern and practice” of refusing to abide by the Charity Care statute.
Per the case, the plaintiff obtained medical services from St. Joseph’s Medical Center on September 18, 2017, with the bill amounting to $77.59. Although the plaintiff qualified for Washington’s Charity Care Program, St. Joseph’s “never offered or even mentioned charity care” to the individual, the suit claims.
The following November, the plaintiff again obtained medical services from St. Joseph’s, at a cost of $77.59, but was again not offered or apprised of Washington’s Charity Care Program, the lawsuit says. That same year, the Washington State Attorney General sued the hospital over its failure or refusal to offer charity care to patients such as the plaintiff as required by law, the complaint relays.
According to the suit, the Washington State Legislature amended in March 2019 the state’s Collection Agency Act by adding additional protections for patients subject to medical- and hospital-related collections, with the changes slated to go into effect in July. The following month, St. Joseph’s entered into the aforementioned consent decree with the state, with the agreement resolving medical accounts incurred between January 1, 2012 and July 1, 2017, the suit says. Pursuant to the multi-million dollar consent decree, the hospital discharged more than $1,000 in medical debts supposedly owed by the plaintiff, per the complaint.
Despite the additions to Washington’s Collection Agency Act, Radius nevertheless mailed the plaintiff a collection notice demanding payment for her September and November 2017 visits to St. Joseph’s, the lawsuit alleges. According to the complaint, none of the communications the plaintiff received from Radius included a statutory notice that she may be eligible for charity care, among a slew of other deficiencies.
The case charge Radius, through the collection efforts alleged by the plaintiff, is “blindly collecting a portfolio of Charity Care eligible St. Joseph’s accounts” without so much as providing notice of Washington’s Charity Care to purported debtors.
“Defendant knows that these accounts qualify for Charity Care,” the lawsuit alleges. “Defendant knows that these accounts only exist because St. Joseph’s failed or refused to follow a legal requirement to offer Charity Care to qualified patients. As such, Defendant knows that many, if not all of these patients do not owe the money Defendant is demanding.”
Initially filed in Pierce County Superior Court, the lawsuit was removed to Washington’s Western District Court at Seattle on November 19.
Get class action lawsuit news sent to your inbox – sign up for ClassAction.org’s newsletter here.