Navigating the Challenges of Medical Debt Recovery

With Medical Debt Hitting $140 Billion, Hospitals Are Taking Action. How Can You Maximize Collections While Minimizing Risks? Find Out at a New Manatt Webinar.

New research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that collection agencies held $140 billion in medical debt last year—a sharp spike since a 2016 study that put the medical debt number at $81 billion. And that staggering $140 billion figure does not count all medical bills owed to providers—only those sold to collection agencies. An increasing number of hospitals are filing lawsuits to try to collect the money owed them. According to Johns Hopkins research, released in partnership with Axios, more than a quarter of the nation’s largest hospitals and health systems pursued more than 39,000 legal actions to recover more than $72 million between 2018 and 2020.

The road to recovering medical debt, however, is complicated. Debt collection is a highly regulated space—and it’s critical to understand every aspect of the process or you can face severe legal and reputational risks. In a new webinar, Manatt provides a road map to effectively navigating medical debt recovery. The program will:

  • Explain the regulations around first-party and third-party medical debt collection, including both the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and state debt collection laws.
  • Review how debt collection laws vary by state across a range of critical areas, including communicating with consumers, disclosing debt information to third parties and providing the right to dispute.
  • Reveal the missteps that could cause you to inadvertently become a third-party debt collector.
  • Examine the tight regulations around payment plans, including mandatory Truth in Lending Act disclosure and restrictions on additional fees that are not charged to patients who don’t have payment plans.
  • Provide the keys to picking the right collection agency.
  • Detail the new requirements from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recently finalized Regulation F, set to go into effect on November 30, 2021, and share guidance for ensuring third-party debt collectors are prepared in time.
  • Discuss potential issues posed by California’s new debt collector licensure requirements that go into effect January 1, 2022.


Jonathan Joshua, Special Counsel, Manatt Financial Services
Raisa Patron, Partner, Manatt Health
Scott Pearson, Partner, Manatt Financial Services
Bryan Schneider, Partner, Manatt Financial Services

Date and Time

Tuesday, October 19, 2021


This program has been approved for 1.0 NY CLE Skills (transitional and non-transitional) and for 1.0 CA MCLE General credit.

If you would like to receive an audio transcript of this webinar due to accessibility issues, please email us at

This program does not constitute legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. Views expressed by presenters are strictly their own and should not be construed to be the views of Manatt or attributed to Manatt.



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