Bay Area Hospitals and Debt Collection
There are a magnitude of different agencies that regulate hospitals in the Bay Area of San Francisco and you can feel overwhlemed by the sheer number. However, if you look closer into this it becomes apparent that none of these agencies regulate debt collection and billing for patients who are privately insured. If you compare this to those patients who are insured by Government backed companies, such as Medicaid then you will discover that the opposite is true and there are an abundance to debt collection regulations.
The question that therefore needs to be asked is why are there no regulations for debt collection and debt recovery for the priavtely insured and uninsured? Well the uninsured have suffered for a long time with far greater issues than debt recovery and for the privately insured it would seem that it was left to hospitals to sort out for themselves.
“Hospitals also are required to establish a charity care policy and discount payment policy for patients whose families are at or below 350 percent of the federal poverty level, according to a California state law that went into effect on January 2007. Under state law every hospital is required to provide patients with a written notice about the availability of discount payment and charity care policies. Additionally, hospitals must post signage regarding the existence of its discount payment and charity care policies in locations that are visible to the public throughout the hospital,” was announced by the California Hospital Association.
It would seem that the level of insurance depends on the service that you get from a hospital before, during and after your visit with oen rule for some and one for the rest.