No, not as using leeches, but as leeches. Dunno if this practice has spread to Texas yet, but elsewhere, hospitals have outsourced more and more of their administrative work, including debt collection. AND ... they're letting debt collectors inside hospitals, even to pose as hospital employees.
There's a number of related issues.
1. A lot of this is for-profit hospitals trying to recoup costs of the uninsured using ERs. How much will Obamacare help with that? Probably a modest amount, no more.
2. What about nonprofit hospitals? Are any of them doing the same?
3. Would it help for more for-profit hospitals to be nudged into nonprofit status?
4. Do collection agencies calculate the cost of being fined for privacy violations into the cost of doing business?