Senator Craig Brandt Introduces Consumer Protection Legislation for Hospital Billing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 18, 2021

Contact: Joaquin Romero

joaquin.romero@nmlegis.gov

(505) 506-5798

Senator Craig Brandt Introduces Consumer Protection Legislation for Hospital Billing

SANTA FE — On Wednesday Senator Craig Brandt (District 40-Sandoval) introduced Senate Bill 382 (SB 382) which aims to increase transparency and expediency in hospital billing. The bill establishes a new section under the Unfair Practices Act and would extend consumer protection laws to hospitals.

“If you have ever had a hospital visit, you understand the frustration of receiving surprise bills months, sometimes years after your visit,” said Senator Brandt. “Medical debt is the number one cause for filing for personal bankruptcy and New Mexicans deserve transparency and efficiency from their medical care providers. In no other sector of the economy do consumers have to deal with the backward, bloated billing systems that our hospitals still use. This bill is a simple way for healthcare providers to restore trust with patients and be upfront about what they owe.”

SB 382 mandates that all hospital bills be issued within 90 days of patient discharge. The bill must be condensed and processed through one provider, and any subcontractor billing must be collected and distributed by the hospital.

The bill now awaits scheduling in Senate Health and Public Affairs.

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