The act prohibits a hospital or other person or entity collecting on behalf of the hospital from initiating or pursuing collection actions against a patient or patient guarantor for debt incurred by the patient on the date or dates of service when the hospital was not in material compliance with federal hospital price transparency laws.
Nothing in the act:
- Prohibits a hospital from billing a patient or health insurer for items or services provided to the patient; or
- Requires a hospital to refund a payment made to the hospital for items or services provided to a patient.
If a patient believes that a hospital was not in material compliance with price transparency laws, the patient or patient guarantor may file a lawsuit. If a judge or jury finds the hospital out of material compliance with federal hospital price transparency laws, the hospital is subject to a penalty equal to the amount of the debt, must refund any amount paid on the debt, dismiss any court action initiated by the hospital, and pay attorney fees and costs the patient or patient guarantor incurred relating to the action.
Critical access hospitals have until February 15, 2023, to comply with federal hospital price transparency laws before the provisions of the act apply.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)