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Healthcare Bill Introduced in Oregon Includes Debt Collection Provisions

A bill has been introduced in the Oregon legislature that seeks to govern how hospitals and healthcare facilities handle charity care, but also includes several provisions related to how unpaid medical debts are collected.

House Bill 3076 was introduced earlier this week by state Rep. Andrea Salinas, a Democrat. The union representing hospital workers and caregivers took credit for crafting the legislation.

The bill, among other things, would cap the interest that could be charged on unpaid debts and prevent collection of unpaid debts from spouses, children, or other family members who are not “financially responsible.” As well, healthcare providers “must provide detailed receipts of all payments made on the charge to permit payers to keep track of payments and provide proof that a payment has been paid or discharged.”

Non-profit hospitals and healthcare facilities would be required to cover all charges for families whose household income is less than 200% of the federal poverty guidelines, and must charge the Medicare rate for families whose household income is between 200% and 400% of the federal poverty guidelines, at a discounted rate of:

  • 50% of the first $1,000 of charges;
  • 90% of the charges more than $1,000 and not more than $5,000;
  • 95% of the charges more than $5,000 and not more than $10,000; and
  • 100% of the charges more than $10,000.

The legislation also dictates that once a family who makes less than 400% of the federal poverty guidelines and receives some form of financial assistance, the hospital or healthcare facility must charge them the lesser of either $2,400 or 10% of their household income on subsequent visits.

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