UVA Health System, which sues thousands of patients each year, seizing wages and home equity to collect on overdue medical bills, said Friday it would increase financial assistance, give bigger discounts to the uninsured and “reduce our reliance on the legal system.”

“This will have a huge impact on patients to the good,” Doug Lischke, the health system’s chief financial officer, said in an interview. The changes will “positively, drastically reduce the legal process” of lawsuits, garnishments and property liens.

“We believe this is much more generous than what we’re doing now.”

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Lischke called the new policy “a first step” that could later include financial assistance beyond what was announced Friday. UVA also plans to ask the Virginia General Assembly

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