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(3) To the extent the hospital provides financial
assistance and the circumstances of the uninsured patient
suggest the potential for eligibility for charity care,
the uninsured patient has been given at least 60 days
following the date of discharge or receipt of outpatient
care to submit an application for financial assistance.
(4) If the uninsured patient has agreed to a
reasonable payment plan with the hospital, and the patient
has failed to make payments in accordance with that
reasonable payment plan.
(5) If the uninsured patient informs the hospital that
he or she has applied for health care coverage under
Medicaid, Kidcare, or other government-sponsored health
care program (and there is a reasonable basis to believe
that the patient will qualify for such program) but the
patient's application is denied.
(a-5) A hospital shall proactively offer information on
charity care options available to uninsured patients,
regardless of their immigration status or residency.
(b) A hospital may not refer a bill, or portion thereof, to
a collection agency or attorney for collection action against
the insured patient, without first offering the patient the
opportunity to request a reasonable payment plan for the
amount personally owed by the patient. Such an opportunity
shall be made available for the 30 days following the date of
the initial bill. If the insured patient requests a reasonable
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payment plan, but fails to agree to a plan within 30 days of
the request, the hospital may proceed with collection action
against the patient.
(c) No collection agency, law firm, or individual may
initiate legal action for non-payment of a hospital bill
against a patient without the written approval of an
authorized hospital employee who reasonably believes that the
conditions for pursuing collection action under this Section
have been met.
(d) Nothing in this Section prohibits a hospital from
engaging an outside third party agency, firm, or individual to
manage the process of implementing the hospital's financial
assistance and reasonable payment plan programs and policies
so long as such agency, firm, or individual is contractually
bound to comply with the terms of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 94-885, eff. 1-1-07.)
This Act takes effect on the
first day of the first month immediately following 90 days
after becoming law.