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.
   30  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.
   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.
   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.