Promising new federal rules to protect needy patients from hospital collections

Last month, we recommended an NPR story discussing the problem of collections against low-income hospital patients.

In response to this problem (as reported by the New York Times), "The Obama administration has adopted sweeping new rules to discourage nonprofit hospitals from using aggressive tactics to collect payments from low-income patients. Under the rules, nonprofit hospitals must now offer discounts, free care or other financial assistance to certain needy patients. Additionally, hospitals must try to determine whether a patient is eligible for assistance before they refer a case to a debt collector, send negative information to a credit agency, place a lien on a patient’s home, file a lawsuit or seek a court order to seize a patient’s earnings."

Read more here.

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