Kentucky kept collecting UK medical debt after acknowledging due process violations

This excerpt is reprinted from The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.

“Tip Moody trusted the University of Kentucky. He worked there, and since 2001 he had visited UK’s Albert B Chandler hospital every three months for HIV treatment.

Even when the university sent him a bill for $5,604 for treatment in 2008 despite his income-eligibility for financial assistance, Moody thought things would work out.

But that trust dissipated by 2009, after the university sent his debt to the Kentucky Department of Revenue for collection. The state demanded payment for a bill he had been contesting for years, started withholding his tax returns and in 2010 placed a lien on the house his mother lived in.

“State-sponsored bullying is what it amounts to,” Moody said. “I was being extorted to pay a bill that I had disputed for years that the University of Kentucky never allowed me to (formally) dispute and that the Department of Revenue never gave me an opening to dispute.”

As Moody learned, UK HealthCare has powerful debt collection tools at its disposal thanks to its partnership with the Department of Revenue, which can garnish wages, levy bank accounts, or intercept tax returns to get at money allegedly owed to the university — all without a court order.”

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