Discharged Into Debt: New York’s Nonprofit Hospitals Garnish Patients’ Wages

Posted May 9, 2023 by Amanda Dunker

This final report in the Discharged Into Debt series investigates the practice of nonprofit hospitals garnishing patients’ wages after suing them for medical debt. A random sample of 1,611 wage garnishment cases from 5 New York hospitals indicates that the indebted patients work in low-wage occupations such as health care and social services, manufacturing, and retail.

A bill recently passed in the New York State legislature (S6522A/A7363A) would ban hospitals from garnishing patients’ wages or imposing liens on their primary residence. This bill awaits Governor Hochul’s signature, and we urge her to sign it immediately.