H 1039 – North Carolina

Status: Inactive / Dead
Year Introduced: 2022
Link: https://www.ncleg.gov/BillLookUp/2021/H%201039

Enacts Article 11C, GS Chapter 131E, to be cited as the Medical Debt Protection Act (Act). States the Article’s legislative purpose. Includes 15 defined terms. Requires all large health care facilities (defined to include licensed hospitals, outpatient clinics and facilities affiliated with licensed hospitals, licensed ambulatory surgical centers, and other practices and professionals offering specified health care services) to develop a written financial assistance policy called a medical debt mitigation policy (MDMP) pursuant to the Article and any implementing rules. Defines an MDMP to include seven components, including the basis for calculating amounts charged to patients and the method for applying for financial assistance, as well as eligibility criteria for financial assistance. Makes the requirements applicable regardless of federal law requirements. Further details required content of an MDMP and requires its approval and annual review by the owners or governing body of the health care provider.

Establishes five steps a large health care facility (facility) must take before seeking payment for any emergency or medically necessary care, including determining the patient’s health care insurance status, offering to screen a patient for insurance eligibility and other public programs that assist in health care costs, determining qualifications for free or discounted care under the MDMP, and determining eligibility for financial assistance within 14 days of application with billing and collections stayed while determination is pending. Sets forth four categories of eligibility for patients to qualify for financial assistance under the MDMP based on household income and poverty level, with assistance ranging from no cost to discounted costs, applicable to any charges for health care services that are not covered by insurance and would be otherwise billed to the patient.

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