Keith Herie is swamped in debt from medical issues he and his wife encountered starting about a decade ago. Heartland hospital is seizing 10 percent of his paycheck and 25 percent of his wife's wages, and has placed a lien on their home. Steve Hebert for ProPublica hide caption

itoggle caption Steve Hebert for ProPublica

Bridgeit Vaughn (left), of the billing office at Mid State Orthopaedic, meets with Gayle Jackson-Pryce to discuss the costs of Jackson-Pryce's upcoming shoulder surgery. Jenny Gold for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Jenny Gold for NPR