Synopsis As Introduced Amends the Fair Patient Billing Act. Provides that a hospital shall screen each uninsured patient for eligibility in State and federal health insurance programs, financial assistance offered by the hospital, and other public programs that may assist with health care costs and provide information about those programs. For an insured patient, requires the hospital to screen the patient for discounted care in specified circumstances. Provides that the screenings and all follow-up assistance must be culturally competent, in the patient's primary language, in plain language, and in an accessible format. Requires a hospital to implement an operational plan and trainings relating to screenings. Prohibits hospitals from pursuing collection actions against uninsured patients if they have not completed the screening requirements. Includes a prohibition on the sale of medical debt, limitations on collection actions, penalties for violating the Act's provisions, and defenses against collection actions pursued in violation of the provisions. Makes other changes. Amends the Hospital Uninsured Patient Discount Act. Provides that a patient declining to apply for a public health insurance program on the basis of concern for immigration-related consequences shall not be grounds for denying financial assistance under a hospital's financial assistance policy.
Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Amends the Community Benefits Act. Provides that information made available to the public shall include the number of uninsured patients who have declined or failed to respond to the screening described specified provisions and the 5 most frequent reasons for declining. Amends the Fair Patient Billing Act. Makes a change in provisions concerning legislative findings. Sets forth provisions concerning screening patients for health insurance and financial assistance. In provisions concerning hospitals pursuing collective action, provides that hospitals and their agents may pursue collective action against an uninsured patient only if the hospital has complied with the screening requirements set forth in specified provisions and exhausted any discount available to the patient under specified provisions. Provides that obligations of hospitals under the amendatory Act Defines terms. Amends the Hospital Uninsured Patient Discount Act. Provides that if a patient declines to apply for a public health insurance program on the basis of concern for immigration-related consequences, the hospital may refer the patient to a free, unbiased resource to address the patient's immigration-related concerns and assist in enrolling the patient in a public health insurance program. Provides that a hospital may still screen the patient for eligibility under its financial assistance policy. Provides that hospitals shall permit an uninsured patient to apply for a discount within 90 days of completion of the screening under specified provisions or denial of an application for a public health insurance program.
Senate Committee Amendment No. 1 In provisions concerning screening patients for health insurance and financial assistance, removes language providing that all screening activities must be provided in compliance with other applicable federal and State laws and regulations. Removes language providing that nothing in the provisions is intended to extend the enforcement authority of the Office of the Attorney General beyond any authority not otherwise granted.