Trade Regulation

ORS 646A.677
Requirement to screen for financial assistance before transferring medical debt for collection

  • permitted interest rate
  • unlawful collection practices


Requirement to screen for financial assistance before transferring medical debt for cellection; permitted interest rate; unlawful collection practices. (1) As used in this section:

(a)

“Debt collector” has the meaning given that term in ORS 646.639 (Unlawful collection practices).

(b)

“Financial assistance” means the written financial assistance policy described in ORS 442.610 (Notice of financial assistance policies).

(c)

“Medical debt” means an amount owed by a patient to a hospital or a nonprofit hospital-affiliated clinic for medically necessary services or supplies.

(2)

A hospital and a nonprofit hospital-affiliated clinic shall post its financial assistance policy in the manner described in ORS 442.610 (Notice of financial assistance policies) (3)(c).

(3)

Upon the request of a patient or an individual who is authorized to act on behalf of a patient, a hospital or hospital-affiliated clinic shall conduct a screening to determine if the patient qualifies for:

(a)

Financial assistance under the hospital’s financial assistance policy; or

(b)

The state medical assistance program.

(4)

Before transferring an unpaid charge for services to a debt collector or referring an unpaid charge for collection, a hospital or hospital-affiliated clinic shall:

(a)

Conduct a screening to determine if the patient qualifies for financial assistance as described in ORS 442.614 (Requirements for financial assistance policies) (1)(a), if applicable; and

(b)

Provide a copy of its financial assistance policy to the patient along with an application for financial assistance.

(5)

A hospital or nonprofit hospital-affiliated clinic may conduct the screening described in subsections (3) and (4) of this section using commercially available services, software or online tools.

(6)

As a condition for providing financial assistance, a hospital may require a patient to:

(a)

Respond to requests from the patient’s primary insurer as necessary for the insurer to adjudicate a claim for reimbursement of the cost of services; and

(b)

Provide information concerning any potential third party liability for the cost of services including but not limited to:

(A)

Information about the coordination of benefits between insurers that cover the patient’s care;

(B)

Accident reports; and

(C)

The patient’s workers’ compensation claims or benefits.

(7)

If a patient qualifies for financial assistance under ORS 442.614 (Requirements for financial assistance policies) (1)(a), a hospital, nonprofit hospital-affiliated clinic or other debt collector may not charge interest on the patient’s medical debt.

(8)

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, the interest that a hospital, nonprofit hospital-affiliated clinic or other debt collector may charge on a medical debt owed by a patient who does not qualify for financial assistance under ORS 442.614 (Requirements for financial assistance policies) (1)(a) may not exceed the weekly average one-year constant maturity Treasury yield, as published by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, for the week preceding the date when the patient was first billed, except that the interest may not be less than two percent per annum or more than five percent per annum.

(b)

Upon entry of a judgment against a patient described in paragraph (a) of this subsection, a hospital, nonprofit hospital-affiliated clinic or other debt collector may increase the interest charged on a medical debt up to the amount specified in ORS 82.010 (Legal rate of interest).

(9)

A hospital, hospital-affiliated clinic or other debt collector may not attempt to collect a medical debt from a patient’s child or other family member who is not financially responsible for the debt under ORS chapter 108.

(10)

It is an unlawful collection practice under ORS 646.639 (Unlawful collection practices) for a hospital, hospital-affiliated clinic or other debt collector to collect or attempt to collect a medical debt in a manner that the hospital, hospital-affiliated clinic or other debt collector knows, or after exercising reasonable diligence would know, is in violation of this section. [2019 c.497 §4]
Note: Additional definitions for 646A.677 (Requirement to screen for financial assistance before transferring medical debt for collection) are found in 442.612 (Definitions).
§§ 646A.600 to 646A.628

Law Review Citations

52 WLR 451 (2016)

§§ 646A.400 to 646A.418

(formerly 646.315 to 646.375)

Notes of Decisions

Where purchaser fails to provide notice of condition requiring repair, presumption does not arise that repair time exceeding 30 business days demonstrates inability of manufacturer to conform vehicle. Pavel v. Winnebago Industries, Inc., 127 Or App 16, 870 P2d 856 (1994)

Repair time exceeding 30 business days as evidence of inability to conform vehicle applies only to presently existing defect. Pavel v. Winnebago Industries, Inc., 127 Or App 16, 870 P2d 856 (1994)

Law Review Citations

19 WLR 329 (1983)


Source

Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021