Florida Senate - 2022 SB 296 By Senator Garcia 37-00408A-22 2022296__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to health care expenses; amending s. 3 395.301, F.S.; requiring a licensed facility to 4 establish, update, and make public a list of the 5 facility’s charges for services which meets certain 6 federal requirements; requiring the Agency for Health 7 Care Administration to impose fines for violations of 8 the public disclosure requirements; creating s. 9 501.181, F.S.; defining terms; prohibiting consumer 10 reporting agencies from publishing a consumer report 11 containing a medical debt credit impairment under 12 certain circumstances; requiring the consumer 13 reporting agency to remove the credit impairment, free 14 of charge, under certain circumstances; requiring the 15 agency to obtain express written consent from a 16 patient-consumer’s health care provider before 17 publishing a consumer report containing a medical debt 18 credit impairment; authorizing patient-consumers to 19 initiate legal proceedings for violations; providing 20 for damages and the award of attorney fees; requiring 21 such actions to commence within a specified timeframe; 22 authorizing the use of arbitration for disputes; 23 requiring the Department of Agriculture and Consumer 24 Services to adopt rules; amending s. 559.72, F.S.; 25 prohibiting persons from reporting certain consumer 26 debt to a consumer reporting agency without the 27 express written consent of the creditor; providing an 28 effective date. 29 30 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 31 32 Section 1. Present paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of 33 subsection (1) of section 395.301, Florida Statutes, are 34 redesignated as paragraphs (c), (d), and (e), respectively, and 35 a new paragraph (b) is added to subsection (1) of that section, 36 to read: 37 395.301 Price transparency; itemized patient statement or 38 bill; patient admission status notification.— 39 (1) A facility licensed under this chapter shall provide 40 timely and accurate financial information and quality of service 41 measures to patients and prospective patients of the facility, 42 or to patients’ survivors or legal guardians, as appropriate. 43 Such information shall be provided in accordance with this 44 section and rules adopted by the agency pursuant to this chapter 45 and s. 408.05. Licensed facilities operating exclusively as 46 state facilities are exempt from this subsection. 47 (b) Each licensed facility shall establish, update, and 48 make public a list of the facility’s standard charges for all 49 items and services provided by the facility, consistent with 45 50 C.F.R. part 180. The agency shall impose a fine of $500 per day 51 per instance of noncompliance for a facility that is required to 52 comply with 45 C.F.R. part 180 and that violates this paragraph. 53 Section 2. Section 501.181, Florida Statutes, is created to 54 read: 55 501.181 Patient credit protection.— 56 (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 57 (a) “Consumer report” has the same meaning as in 15 U.S.C. 58 s. 1681a(d). 59 (b) “Consumer reporting agency” has the same meaning as in 60 15 U.S.C. s. 1681a(f). 61 (c) “Health benefit plan” means any individual, blanket, or 62 group plan, policy, or contract for health care services issued 63 in this state by an authorized health care insurer, health 64 maintenance organization, hospital medical service corporation, 65 or self-insured plan in this state. The term does not include 66 supplemental plans. 67 (d) “Health care provider” means a person or an entity that 68 is licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized by the laws of 69 this state to provide health care services. 70 (e) “Medical debt” means the outstanding balance a patient 71 consumer owes to a health care provider for health care 72 services. 73 (f) “Patient-consumer” means an individual who receives 74 health care services from a health care provider. 75 (2) CREDIT PROTECTION FOR PATIENT-CONSUMERS.—A consumer 76 reporting agency may not publish a consumer report containing a 77 credit impairment resulting from a patient-consumer’s medical 78 debt if all of the following conditions apply: 79 (a) The patient-consumer was covered by a health benefit 80 plan when the health care services giving rise to the medical 81 debt were provided and such services were covered by the health 82 benefit plan. 83 (b) The patient-consumer’s medical debt is an outstanding 84 balance after the patient-consumer’s copayments, deductibles, 85 and coinsurance amounts owed for health care services were fully 86 paid or settled or are being paid as part of a payment plan. 87 (3) REMOVAL OF CREDIT IMPAIRMENT.— 88 (a) If a consumer reporting agency receives notification 89 from a creditor indicating that a patient-consumer’s medical 90 debt has been fully paid or settled or that the patient-consumer 91 is in compliance with a payment plan, the consumer reporting 92 agency must remove any credit impairment resulting from the 93 applicable medical debt within 30 days after receiving such 94 notification. Such notification may include, but is not limited 95 to, documentation showing the status of the patient-consumer’s 96 medical debt. 97 (b) A consumer reporting agency may not charge the patient 98 consumer a fee to remove the credit impairment. 99 (4) EXPRESS CONSENT.—A consumer reporting agency may not 100 publish a consumer report with a credit impairment resulting 101 from a patient-consumer’s medical debt without the express 102 written consent of a patient-consumer’s health care provider. 103 (5) PRIVATE RIGHT OF ACTION.— 104 (a) A patient-consumer who is aggrieved by a violation of 105 this section may bring an action to: 106 1. Enjoin the violation. 107 2. Recover actual damages or $1,500, whichever is greater. 108 (b) In addition to any damages awarded, a patient-consumer 109 shall also be awarded reasonable attorney fees and court costs. 110 (c) A civil action pursuant to this section must be 111 commenced within 2 years after the violation occurs. 112 (d) All parties to the action may agree to arbitration to 113 resolve the medical debt reporting dispute. 114 (6) RULEMAKING.—The Department of Agriculture and Consumer 115 Services shall adopt rules to implement this section. 116 Section 3. Subsection (20) is added to section 559.72, 117 Florida Statutes, to read: 118 559.72 Prohibited practices generally.—In collecting 119 consumer debts, no person shall: 120 (20) Report a credit impairment resulting from a patient 121 consumer’s medical debt to a consumer reporting agency, as 122 defined in 15 U.S.C. s. 1681a(f), without the express written 123 consent of the creditor, if the creditor is a health care 124 provider who provided the patient-consumer with health care 125 services. 126 Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2022.