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When Medical Debts Become an Impossible Burden

Healthcare costs have become a major portion of everyone's expenditure and the proportion of savings it takes up as we age only goes up. At times these costs can become impossible to bear leaving few ways out.

 

When patients receive care at Heartland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph, Missouri and don't or can't pay their bill, the nonprofit hospital uses its very own debt collection agency to file lawsuits against people and ultimately seize their wages.

 

Federal law allows creditors to garnish up to 25 percent of a person's paycheck to repay the debt, which for many is simply an impossible burden, ProPublica reporter Paul Kiel explains on the podcast. This is only exacerbated by the legal fees and interest tacked on after a suit is filed.

 

Listen to the special ProPublica Podcast here.

 

Nonprofits like Heartland comprise about 60 percent of American hospitals. They don't have to pay taxes -- essentially akin to a subsidy of several billion dollars -- and in return, these hospitals are supposed to care for those that don't have the means for insurance.

 

"What that means exactly is a little slippery," Kiel tells Editor-in-Chief Steve Engelberg. While these hospitals do have to offer reduced care, the law doesn't say how poor somebody has to be to get that care or how much the care has to be reduced. "So you see a large variation in the type of programs these hospitals offer."

 

And even though this process happens in the courts and is public, no one tracks how many hospitals sue their patients or how frequently, Kiel says. "That's one thing that we've been trying to bring to light ... hopefully that'll lead to more attention."

 

Courtesy: ProPublica.org

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Five Tricky Ad trends to watch out for in 2015

Advertising trends and tricks evolve with technologies and a changing audience. Here's a look at what's in store for 2015

 

From news stories that aren’t really news stories to branded song lyrics masquerading as art to the proliferation of unscrupulous e-cigarette companies, consumers need to watch for these red flags as they evaluate ads in 2015 for the US. How many of these trends spill over to the Indian market is to be seen.

 

  • • Native Advertising

  • • Branded Lyrics

  • • Pot-vertising

  • • E-cigarettes

  • • Handmade liquor

 

Read Full Story Here

 

Courtesy : Truthinadvertising.org

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Food Inflation

Combined food inflation stood at 3.64% for November 2014, significantly lower than 5.58% recorded for October 2014. For rural and urban areas, food inflation was 3.83% and 3.40%, respectively, in November. Deflation was seen in vegetable prices, at 10.90% in November, compared to a deflation of only 1.45% in October. Inflation in fruit prices was 13.74% in November, while pulses were dearer by 7.54% year-on-year. Inflation for cereals stood at 3.64% and inflation for milk products was 10.24%. The price rise of non-vegetarian items, such as eggs, meat and fish, was 6.48% in November compared to 6.20% in October 2014. 

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