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Oil Patch hospitals to get help in screening for bad debt risks

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FARGO -- Medical centers in western North Dakota's booming Oil Patch need help in diagnosing which patients requesting nonemergency services are bad debt risks.

As part of a fund of almost $10 million to help defray hospitals' bad debts in 2013-15, lawmakers appropriated $700,000 for new information technology screening tools to curb bad debt expense by evaluating patients' creditworthiness.

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