Wall Street Journal Profiles Founder of Advocacy Group Consejo de Latinos Unidos
The Wall Street Journal today profiles K.B. Forbes, founder of the advocacy group Consejo de Latinos Unidos and a "successful crusader for the uninsured." Forbes, a former journalist and a former aide in the presidential campaigns of Pat Buchanan and Steve Forbes, aims to curtail the practice by some hospitals of billing patients without insurance at much higher rates than those for people who have health coverage. "[A]lmost no one except the uninsured gets billed the full price" for hospital services, as health plans are able to secure discounts on services, the Journal reports. Last year, Forbes helped 10 people sue hospital chain Tenet Healthcare over its billing policies. Tenet executives and Forbes had a meeting in January, during which Forbes showed hospital officials a picture of a mobile home on which the chain had put a lien. According to the Journal, Forbes' other tactics include interviewing patients being sued by hospitals over unpaid bills and transforming the "most heart-wrenching stories" into print and broadcast advertisements. After Forbes met with Tenet officials, the hospital chain promised to begin giving the uninsured discounts similar to those it offers health plans and said it would no longer place liens on homes of patients who have not paid bills. Tenet officials credit Forbes with the change in policy, the Journal reports. Forbes is currently targeting HCA, the country's largest hospital chain, for its billing policies (Rundle, Wall Street Journal, 6/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.