Vituity and RIP Medical Debt Partner to Abolish $127M in Patient Medical Debt
EMERYVILLE, Calif (March 21, 2023) — Vituity, a physician-owned and -led multispecialty partnership has collaborated with RIP Medical Debt (RIP), a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit, to eliminate more than $127M in outstanding medical debt on qualified invoices for 208,622 patients in Illinois and Georgia.
“Our physician partners are dedicated to helping our patients and communities live healthy lives. This includes removing barriers that deter individuals from seeking care, like the financial stress that can come from having medical debt simply from being sick or having an accident,” said Theo Koury, MD, President of Vituity. “No one should have to choose between feeding their family or paying for the healthcare they need, which is why Vituity is so grateful to continue our partnership with RIP Medical Debt to eliminate medical debt for thousands of low-income individuals.”
In Illinois, Vituity and RIP are abolishing a total balance of $65,589,878 for 119,402 qualified individuals from the past four to 10 years. In Georgia, they are eliminating a total balance of $61,609,701 in debt for 89,220 individuals from the past four to nine years.
The debt includes emergency department, hospital medicine, skilled nursing, and urgent and critical care visits. RIP’s criteria for medical debt abolishment is patients or guarantors with a household income at or below 400% of current federal poverty guidelines, or with medical debt representing 5% or more of annual household income.
The burden of medical debt affects more than half of U.S. adults, according to a 2022 poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation and NPR, and about 1 in 5 say they don’t expect to ever pay it off. The poll also found that medical debt forces families to cut spending on food and other essentials and drives millions from their homes or into bankruptcy. Research shows that people with medical debt are less likely to seek needed care and that medical debt can damage people’s credit, making it more difficult for them to secure employment.
“Medical debt is a uniquely American injustice that unduly impacts already underserved communities by preventing millions from achieving financial stability and causing stress and hardship,” said Allison Sesso, RIP’s CEO. “We are proud to continue collaborating with forward-looking physician leaders like those at Vituity to relieve what for many families is a crushing economic burden.”
Patients for whom this debt relief has been extended have no obligation to pay this debt to anyone at any future time and also do not earn any income or owe any taxes on this cancellation of debt. Those receiving debt abolishment will be notified by a branded RIP envelope sent to their address. Letters have started going out and will continue to be sent over the next several months until all notifications are complete. Debt abolishment is source-based and cannot be requested.
For nearly 50 years, Vituity has been a catalyst for positive change in healthcare. As a physician-led and -owned multispecialty partnership, our 5,000 doctors and clinicians care for nearly 8 million patients each year across 450 practice locations and nine acute care specialties.
Vituity’s acute focus and compassionate care are the driving forces that place us at the heart of better care. Our clinicians and practice management leaders develop front-line solutions for healthcare challenges that improve quality and directly impact millions of lives nationwide.
Our services span the entire Acute Care Continuum, integrating emergency medicine, hospital medicine, critical care, anesthesiology, acute psychiatry, neurology, acute care surgery, telehealth, post-acute care, and outpatient medicine. Partnering with hospitals, health systems, clinics, payers, employers, and state and local government, our footprint continues to expand rapidly. Learn more at vituity.com.
Healthful equips patients and their families with the tools they need to achieve optimal health outcomes. Developed by frontline providers at healthcare delivery hub Vituity, our AI-assisted solution helps people seamlessly navigate the complex medical landscape, identifying and removing emotional and socioeconomic barriers while connecting them to high-quality, cost-effective, personalized support.
About RIP Medical Debt
RIP Medical Debt (RIP) is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit that was founded in 2014 by two former debt collectors. To date RIP has acquired—and abolished—over $8.5 billion of burdensome medical debt, helping over 5.5 million families and addressing a major social determinant of health. RIP purchases debts for a fraction of their face value in bundled portfolios and partners with individuals, faith-based organizations, government, foundations, and corporations to empower donors by converting every dollar contributed into $100 of medical debt relief on average.
RIP also partners with hospitals, health systems, and physician groups to acquire medical debt for abolishment. RIP rose to national prominence on an episode of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” in which RIP facilitated abolishing $15M in medical debt. To learn more, visit ripmedicaldebt.org.
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