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New Rules to Limit Tactics on Hospitals’ Fee Collections
The New York Times

The Obama administration has adopted sweeping new rules to discourage nonprofit hospitals from using aggressive tactics to collect payments from low-income patients.

Under the rules, nonprofit hospitals must now offer discounts, free care or other financial assistance to certain needy patients. Additionally, hospitals must try to determine whether a patient is eligible for assistance before they refer a case to a debt collector, send negative information to a credit agency, place a lien on a patient’s home, file a lawsuit or seek a court order to seize a patient’s earnings.

The rules, issued at the end of last year by the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service, lay out detailed requirements for nonprofit hospitals that have or want tax-exempt status, about 60 percent of hospitals nationwide.

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