Increase Consumer Protections Medical Transactions
Concerning increasing consumer protections in various medical transactions.
2023 Regular Session
Business & Economic Development
Health Care & Health Insurance
- Caps the rate of interest on medical debt at 3% per annum;
- Defines "medical debt", for purposes of a statutory cap on interest rates and fair debt collection practices, to include debt arising from the receipt of health-care services or medical products or devices;
- Requires a debt collector or collection agency collecting on a medical debt to provide to the consumer, upon the consumer's written or oral request, an itemized statement concerning the debt and allows the consumer to dispute the validity of the debt after receipt of the itemized statement;
- Establishes requirements relating to payment plans for medical debt, including written documentation of the payment plan between the consumer and the creditor, debt collector, or debt collection agency; notice to the consumer if the payment plan will be accelerated or declared in default or inoperative due to nonpayment; and the opportunity to renegotiate the payment plan;
- Prohibits collection on the debt during any appeal proceedings and prohibits reporting the debt to a consumer reporting agency until a certain amount of time after the payment plan becomes inoperative;
- Requires a debt collector or collection agency that files a legal action to collect medical debt to include an itemization of the charges and, prior to the entry of a default judgment against the creditor, provide evidence of the debt;
- Makes it a deceptive trade practice to violate provisions relating to billing practices, surprise billing, and balance billing laws; and
- Requires a health-care provider or health-care facility to provide, upon request of a prospective patient, an estimate of the total cost of a health-care service (service) to a person who intends to self-pay for the service (self-pay estimate). The bill includes requirements for the self-pay estimate and caps the amount by which the final, total cost of the service may exceed the self-pay estimate, with exceptions for emergency or unforeseen, medically necessary services required during the service. The bill makes it a deceptive trade practice to violate provisions relating to the self-pay estimate.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)