Hospital Billing Practices Under Consideration
The California Hospital Association and consumer advocacy groups this week have met to discuss hospital billing practices as the Legislature considers a bill (AB 774) by Assembly member Wilma Chan (D-Oakland) that deals with the issue, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The measure would require hospitals to provide uninsured patients with information about consumer rights and financial options, including:
- Payment plans;
- Public insurance programs; and
- Hospitals' charity care policies.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) in 2004 vetoed similar legislation, saying that the state should wait to see if voluntary hospital guidelines were effective in addressing concerns about billing practices.
Margita Thompson, a spokesperson for the governor, declined to comment on Schwarzenegger's position on bills that the Legislature has not approved (Rojas, Sacramento Bee, 8/24). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.