Ortiz Introduces Legislation Addressing Hospital Charity Care Policies
Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento) on Tuesday introduced legislation (SB 24) that would establish minimum charity care requirements for state hospitals, the Sacramento Bee reports. Under the bill, state regulators could fine hospitals that fail to offer no-cost or discounted services to low- and middle-income patients. All hospitals could be fined for failing to offer "base levels of charity care," and not-for-profit facilities that do not comply with the requirements could lose some tax exemptions, the Bee reports.
The measure also would impose restrictions on some billing and collection practices and would make some patients eligible for refunds of hospital costs paid in excess of those mandated under charity care guidelines (Rapaport, Sacramento Bee, 12/9).