AB 2297 – California

Status: In Process
Year Introduced: 2024
Link: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=202320240AB2297

Hospital and Emergency Physician Fair Pricing Policies. This bill would authorize an emergency physician to choose to grant eligibility for a discount payment policy to patients with incomes over 400% of the federal poverty level. The bill would also clarify that out-of-pocket costs for the above-described definition of “high medical costs” means any expenses for medical care that are not reimbursed by insurance or a health coverage program, such as Medicare copays or Medi-Cal cost sharing. This bill would define charity policy for those purposes. The bill would prohibit a hospital from considering the monetary assets of the patient in determining eligibility for both the charity care and the discount payment policies. The bill would instead require that the eligibility for charity care or discounted payments be determined at any time the hospital is in receipt of recent pay stubs or income tax returns. The bill would prohibit a hospital from imposing time limits for eligibility. The bill would authorize a hospital to waive Medi-Cal and Medicare cost-sharing amounts as part of its charity care program or discount payment program. This bill would eliminate the authorization for a hospital or an emergency physician to consider monetary assets in determining the amount of debt the hospital or emergency physician may seek to recover from patients who are eligible under these policies. This bill would prohibit a hospital or emergency physician from using liens on any real property as a means of collecting unpaid hospital or emergency physician bills, and would prohibit a collection agency from conducting a sale of any real property owned, in part or completely, by a patient or placing a lien on any real property as a means of collecting unpaid hospital or emergency physician bills.

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