News and Information

Healthcare Regulation Round-Up

A child sitting in her mothers lap, high fiving her doctor in the doctors office

Federal regulations for bad debt collections make an impact on your revenue stream, but state legislation is also constantly changing. At Americollect, we frequently review new laws and healthcare regulations to see how they may affect your ability to recover the revenue that your facility has earned. By sharing this information with you, we are working to keep you informed about what changes are happening. Below you will find the most recent state legislation impacting healthcare revenue recovery in Colorado, Nevada, and New York.

Colorado

Governor Jared Polis signed a new healthcare regulation bill from Colorado’s Assembly that will go into effect August 7, 2023. This bill covers the inclusion of medical debt information on consumers’ credit reports.

HB23-1126 will prohibit medical debt information on credit reports and, “prohibits a debt collector or collection agency, when attempting to collect medical debt or to obtain information about a consumer in relation to an attempt to collect medical debt from making a false or misleading representation that the medical debt will be included in a consumer report or factored into a consumer’s credit score.”

Debt collectors and collection agencies will also be prohibited from making false or misleading representations that the medical debt will be included in a consumer report. Failing to disclose that medical debt will not be included in a consumer report also violates the bill. In both cases debt collectors and collection agencies are not allowed to infer that the debt may impact their credit score. This healthcare regulation does not retroactively impact conduct that occurred before the August 7, 2023, effective date.

Nevada

On July 1, 2021, S.B. 248 was signed into law, requiring debt collection agencies to send a medical debt notification to a consumer 60 days before taking any action to collect a medical debt. While this was not an issue, the fact that the letter was required to be sent by registered or certified mail greatly increased the cost to healthcare providers who wished to recover bad debt.

In June of 2023, Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo signed off on a new law that revised the requirements related to S.B. 248 codified at NRS 649.366(1)—that required the 60-day notice to be sent by registered or certified mail. The removal of the registered or certified mail requirement was included in S.B. 335. This new healthcare regulation goes into effect on October 1, 2023, at which time collection agencies will be permitted to send the two-day notice via regular mail. This can help healthcare providers and/or collection agencies to save on mailing costs.

New York

Though the New York Assembly adjourned its legislative session, they did pass A6275A. This is the Fair Medical Debt Reporting Act created to “amend the public health law and the general business law in relation to prohibiting medical debt from being collected by a consumer reporting agency or included in a consumer report.” It did not pass the senate before it adjourned, and they are not expected to reconvene this year.

The healthcare regulation bill prohibits hospitals, medical providers, and ambulance services from reporting any portion of a medical debt to a consumer reporting agency (CRA). Also, any contracts made with a collection entity that buys or tries to collect a medical debt must include a provision that prohibits those entities from reporting any portion of said debt to a CRA. In addition, it also removes any medical debt that is reported by a hospital, medical provider, or ambulance service from CRA reports.

In the bill, medical debt is defined as “an obligation or alleged obligation of a consumer to pay any amount whatsoever related to the receipt of health care services, products or devices provided to a person by a hospital licensed under article (28) of this chapter, a health care professional authorized under title eight of the education law or an ambulance service certified under article (30) of this chapter.” It does not include expenses on a credit card unless that card is issued under a plan specifically for healthcare services.

Americollect continues to monitor the various legislative actions states take that can impact your revenue. If you have questions about these bills or any others, please contact us today!

Ridiculously Nice Legal Disclaimer

The content provided in this communication (“Content”) is presented for educational and general reference purposes only. Americollect, Inc and/or AmeriEBO LLC either directly or indirectly through speakers, independent contractors, or employees (collectively referred to as “Americollect”) is providing this Content as a courtesy to be used for informational purposes only. The Contents are not intended to serve as legal or other advice. Americollect does not represent or warrant that the Content is accurate, complete, or current for any specific or particular purpose or application. This information is not intended to be a full and exhaustive explanation of the law in any area, nor should it be used to replace the advice of your own legal counsel. By using the Content in any way, whether or not authorized, the user assumes all risk and hereby releases Americollect from any liability associated with the Content.

Join our mailing list

Sign up to receive email updates on current information impacting the healthcare field and revenue cycle.