Statement of Robert Restuccia, Executive Director of Community Catalyst, on final regulations issued today by the Department of Treasury on non-profit hospital community benefit and financial assistance, billing and collections as required by the Affordable Care Act.
(BOSTON) – “As an organization that for the past decade has worked to protect people from aggressive hospital billing and collection practices, we are happy to see the final regulations on consumer protection requirements for non-profit hospitals released today by the Treasury Department. This is a victory for consumers and a critical step forward to ensuring non-profit hospitals engage their communities and expand access to care. The regulations will help to safeguard patients from unfair billing and collection practices commonly used by the hospital sector that put patients’ physical and financial health at risk. They will also require that all non-profits hospitals engage their community in a needs assessment.
“Non-profit hospitals provide essential life-saving care. In exchange for billions of dollars annually in tax exemptions, they are also obligated to give back to their communities. Unfortunately, not all hospitals have been doing their fair share. In response to widespread documentation of aggressive patient billing and debt collection tactics happening nationwide in non-profit hospitals, the Affordable Care Act put in place important new disclosure requirements to ensure patients get accurate, timely information about available financial help.
“The final regulations were long-awaited and are a welcome development. They are an important consumer protection. We look forward to working with the hospital community around how they can implement these new regulations and better serve the needs of patients and their communities.”
About Community Catalyst
Community Catalyst is a national non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to quality affordable health care for all. Community Catalyst works in partnership with national, state and local consumer organizations, policymakers, and foundations, providing leadership and support to change the health care system so it serves everyone – especially vulnerable members of society. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org. Read or comment on our blog at http://blog.communitycatalyst.org/. Follow us on Twitter @healthpolicyhub.