Suits filed over Aurora's use of medical data in bankruptcy cases

Bruce Vielmetti reports:

Susan Dandridge knew that when she sought protection in bankruptcy court last year, information about her debts and income would go into a public court file.

“It’s old bills and stuff from my earlier life I’m trying to clean up,” said the 53-year-old admissions adviser at Herzing University, a for-profit college with a campus in Kenosha. “I can deal with that.”

But what she couldn’t deal with was learning that some of those bills, from Aurora Health Care Inc., included specific details about the kind of treatment she got there and why.

“I never thought in a million years” that Chapter 13 would “take my personal life and make it an open book,” she said recently. Now she’s one of several Aurora patients in bankruptcy who have filed class-action lawsuits against Aurora over the way it submits claims in bankruptcy.

The suits, in federal and state court, claim Aurora violated Wisconsin’s privacy law when it routinely filed proofs of claim against debtors that include patients’ specific medical information as part of the billing records. The suits seek $25,000 in exemplary damages for each person whose private medical information was revealed.

Read more in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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