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Craig Antico worked for 30-years as a financial industry leader in collections, debt buying, and outsourcing after completing his MBA at Pace University. His career includes employment and consulting assignments with IBM, Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems, and numerous collections agencies.
In the 90s and 2000s Craig ran the East Coast operations of the distressed debt exchange (DDE) company, eDebt. In 2012, he advised and managed the back-office debt purchasing, data scrubbing, and the mailing of debt abolishing letters for The Rolling Jubilee Fund, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that works to liberate people from debt. Through his efforts and expertise, $50 million in medical debt, student loans and payday loans were abolished.
Jerry Ashton has more than 40-years’ experience in the credit and collections industry. In 1995, after almost 20 years in the industry, and dissatisfied with the way he saw debtors treated, he founded CFO Advisors, Inc., in New York City. At one point his specially trained teams, from all over the U.S., serviced more than a half-billion dollars annually in receivables.
His clients included Johnson & Johnson, Hearst, Gannett, RR Donnelley, Snelling and Snelling, and Biosense Webster. Jerry is also the co-author of “The Patient, The Doctor, and the Bill Collector: A Medical Debt Survival Guide” which reveals the hidden truths behind the crushing medical debt affecting more than 64 million Americans.
William von Mueffling is president of Cantillon Capital Management, an investment firm with more than $13 billion under management. Mr. von Mueffling was previously a managing director at Lazard Asset Management, where he was responsible for hedge funds.
Prior to joining Lazard, he was with Deutsche Bank in Germany and France. He earned a BA from Columbia College and an MBA from Columbia Business School. Mr. von Mueffling is a member of Columbia Business School’s Board of Overseers, as well as chair of the advisory board for the Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing. He also sits on Columbia College’s Board of Visitors and founded whoisontheballot.org, a non-partisan civic engagement program of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).
A board member of RIP Medical Debt, Mr. von Mueffling has served on numerous non-profit boards and chaired the Buckley School Board of Trustees until 2016. Currently, he chairs the investment committee for the American Academy of Berlin and serves on the advisory committee for Europe and Central Asia and the investment committee for Human Rights Watch. Mr. von Mueffling received the honor of Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French government and served on President George W. Bush’s Working Group on Financial Markets. In 2017, he received the John Jay Award for professional achievement from Columbia College.
With more than 40 years of experience in the health care industry, Robert E. Goff is a recognized expert in care delivery, organization and financing. His career spans a wide range of leadership positions as a hospital administrator, managed care executive, consultant, regulator, and association executive. He’s held an academic posting as an adjunct professor in Managed Care and Healthcare Strategic Planning at the New School University, NY. He’s a frequent lecturer to physicians and community organizations. As an entrepreneur, Goff has been responsible for the development of numerous health care businesses, including one of the first for-profit HMOs in New York State, one of the earliest physician practice management companies, a chain of urgent care centers, the first network model Medicare and Medicaid managed care plans in a secondary market, plus provider-based health care business initiatives. Goff recently retired from service as Executive Director and CEO of University Physicians Network, LLC (UPN) in New York City.
Michele Masucci serves as general and special counsel to private equity firms and other investors looking to make investments in health care. Michele helps companies address evolving concepts and capitalize on opportunities emerging from the accelerating convergence of health care and technology. She served as chair of the firm’s Health Care Group from 2010 to 2016.
Michele focuses her practice almost exclusively on representing for-profit health care entities in private equity and other corporate transactions. She currently represents health care focused middle-market private equity firms through their initial acquisitions and various add-ons of portfolio companies. As a former in-house counsel at a hospital, her uniquely holistic perspective helps her guide health care clients juggling day-to-day operational issues and new business ventures. With the Accountable Care movement in full effect, Michele advises clients from the initial analysis of their existing models through the formation and implementation of new operational models, such as value-based contracting, ACOs, bundled payments and medical homes.
Craig Antico & Jerry Ashton have both spent decades in the debt collections industry, but have long chaffed against industry thinking and practices.
“Borrowers are most often declared in default when they cannot be found. That is when the collection agencies take over. While some in the industry, like Mr. Ashton, worry about public revolt over aggressive collection tactics, there is no holding back [the agencies] at this point.”
Published Sept 8, 2012 Permalink
The idea for RIP Medical Debt was inspired by the Rolling Jubilee, an Occupy Wall Street subgroup with which Jerry & Craig worked.
Organizers of the Occupy Wall Street movement this week announced that they are targeting consumer debt using an interesting tactic: they’re going to become debt buyers. But instead of collecting on the accounts, the buyers will simply forgive the debt, leaving consumers a zero balance.
InsideARM is the foremost daily trade publication for the accounts receivable management (ARM) industry.
Published November 9, 2012 Permalink
Inspired by working with Rolling Jubilee, and now a HuffPost blogger, Jerry shares his vision (one that will eventually guide RIP) with a growing audience.
What was it like to open up a letter announcing that the burden of a large medical debt had been taken away?
“I was dumbfounded,” replies Terrance Lavalle, referring to a letter he received in November from Occupy Wall Street’s working group, “the Rolling Jubilee.”
Not to mention a bit dubious.
Published Nov 12, 2013 Permalink
With Rolling Jubilee refocusing on un-payable student loan debt, Craig & Jerry started RIP Medical Debt in 2014 – a nonprofit social enterprise focused on abolishing medical debt for those in need.
Jerry Ashton and Craig Antico spent decades hounding debtors to pay their bills—until an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street inspired them to find a way to pay struggling people’s debts.
When Paola Gonzalez received a phone call from RIP Medical Debt, she was certain what she heard was a mistake. A prank, maybe. The caller said a $950 hospital bill had been paid for in full: It would not affect her credit and she wouldn’t have to worry about it again. “They wanted to pay a bill for me,” she said. “I was just speechless.”
Published Aug 17, 2015 Permalink
RIP Medical Debts gains momentum as those helped share their story with news stations.
No one wants to get that call from a bill collector looking for money. It can be frightening and intimidating.
But now, CBS2’s Alice Gainer introduces us to collectors who are calling to get you out of debt, helping unsuspecting recipients to be debt free.
You hear the phone in the background and you dont want to pick it up cause you know its a bill collector. Paola Gonzalez knows those calls well. She owes more than $30,000 in medical bills. It’s a debt that she says he affected her entire family.
Aired July 17, 2015 Permalink
RIP moves into abolishing the medical debt of veterans.
Few Americans understand, or are even aware of, the plight of the U.S. active duty or former service men and women who struggle with unpaid – and unpayable – medical debt.
Contrary to general belief, our veterans are not given free VA hospital and medical attention as a reward for their service. There are qualifications attached. Although anyone who has served in the military likely qualifies to seek medical help and receive medication, there are hurdles to leap and they may be liable for a copayment.
Published Feb 10, 2016 Permalink
Meanwhile, Jerry Ashton teams up with health care administrator, Robert Goff, then CEO of the New York-based University Physicians Network, to co-author the book, The Patient, The Doctor and the Bill Collector.
When Robert E. Goff and I decided to co-author a book employing our collective knowledge of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the medical and debt collections industries to expose their inequities and shortfalls, we had no idea of the amount of work – and by that, I mean teamwork – that would be required.
At the start we only shared the quality other would-be authors have in abundance — passion.
Published Feb 10, 2016 Permalink
In the summer of 2016, “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver partners with RIP Medical Debt to forgive almost $15 million in medical debt — all for $60,000 — to raise awareness about America’s medical debt crises (and set a new record for largest TV giveaway).
The above clip is gratefully posted at RIPmedicaldebt.org with special permission from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which owns all rights, so please contact the HBO producers directly for rights and permissions.
Aired June 5, 2106 Permalink
Currently, along with raising funds and forgiving debts, RIP is working with four major universities (University of Chicago, MIT, UC Berkeley, and UCLA) to study the economic impact of forgiving medical debt. RIP will continue to work with researches and industry leading foundations, corporations, and individuals to affect positive change. Stay tuned!