Can my Doctor or Hospital turn me away/stop treatment if I Declare Bankruptcy in New York?

More personal bankruptcies are spawned by health problems than any other financial issue in New York.  Unmanageable medical bills are responsible a large number of bankruptcy filings so our clients will often ask about what will happen to their health care if they go bankrupt.  Since continuous health care is an absolute necessity for many of our clients, understanding what can happen to the relationships with their medical providers can be primary issue in their decision to file.

First of all, if you have a medical emergency you can’t be turned away from a hospital for filing bankruptcy.  Hospitals must provide treatment to all people by law, so even if you can’t pay they still have to treat you.  That being said, while bankruptcy is the most powerful debt relief tool available, it can’t force your primary doctor or hospital to provide you regular treatment if you have had a debt discharged with them.  If you have medical insurance for new treatments, then this will usually be enough to convince hospitals to keep you as a patient, as they are more confident you will be able to pay this time.   They are happy to have most people back knowing the insurance will be paying from here on out.  Hospitals aren’t likely to hold a grudge.  Not all private practice doctors feel this way however, and many will not be too happy when you file bankruptcy on them and are likely to deny you future regular care if you still owe them money.

For some of our clients with medical issues risking their relationship with their doctor is out of the question.  Their health is simply too important to mess with.  When it comes to your family’s regular doctors, dentists, and pediatricians it’s advisable to try and find a way to pay these debts when treatment is provided.  Obviously most people thinking about bankruptcy are not going to have the money to pay off every debt to all their regular care providers.  If you are stuck with the fact that you are going to have to declare bankruptcy on one or more of your doctors then your bankruptcy attorney will help you communicate the fact that you have no choice but to declare bankruptcy, but that you would like to find a way to work with them so you can remain a patient.  When you file for bankruptcy you are required to list all of your debts to the court, but it is up to you to decide if you will continue paying your doctor for future services.  Many doctors are reasonable in this situation and will continue to give you care if you continue to pay them as promised.

If mounting doctor and hospital bills are forcing you to consider bankruptcy, but you need to find a way to ensure your medical treatment after filing consult with a qualified bankruptcy attorney right away.  A good attorney can help you smooth things over with you care providers and help you find the debt relief you deserve.  If you live in New York, get the pros and cons of bankruptcy for your case from the Law Offices of William Waldner.  Arrange a free consultation online or by calling 212-244-2882.  We are a small, personalized firm that offers affordable debt relief assistance for all New Yorkers.  We have a 99% Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge record in New York City as of 8/31/16, and know exactly what to expect with every case we file.

This article is intended for educational purposes only.  By reading this article no attorney-client relationship has been created.