Con­necti­cut law ad­dresses fa­cil­ity fee charges

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Maria Castel­lucci

As of Jan. 1, Con­necti­cut hos­pi­tals have to warn pa­tients who re­ceive out­pa­tient ser­vices about fa­cil­ity fees.

The law re­quires hos­pi­tals and health sys­tems that ac­quire a physi­cian prac­tice to no­tify all pa­tients within 30 days af­ter the ac­qui­si­tion that their out­pa­tient ser­vices will now in­clude fa­cil­ity fees.

The law also re­quires the pa­tient’s bill to clearly state that the fee is used for the hos­pi­tal’s op­er­a­tional ex­penses, that the pa­tient would likely be charged less at an out­pa­tient care cen­ter not owned by a hos­pi­tal and that the pa­tient has a right to re­quest a re­duc­tion in the fa­cil­ity fee.

The state has been ac­tively try­ing to im­prove pric­ing trans­parency. In 2014, law­mak­ers passed a mea­sure re­quir­ing hos­pi­tals that pro­vide out­pa­tient ser­vices to “promi­nently” dis­play a sign in­di­cat­ing that they charge fa­cil­ity fees.

That same year, Con­necti­cut At­tor­ney Gen­eral Ge­orge Jepsen urged leg­is­la­tors to ad­dress the con­fu­sion pa­tients face by bills re­ceived fol­low­ing ser­vices from some out­pa­tient providers.

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