- Caitlin DeLuca
New Proposed Bill Would Protect Patients From Facility Fees
Between sky-high premiums, and out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs and treatments, too many Mainers are forced to go without the care they need.
Lawmakers are looking to address the many barriers to care that Mainers are facing. One of the these barriers are facility fees. Facility fees are charges patients may be forced to pay – in addition to their bill for treatment and medical services – just for being inside a medical facility.
Oftentimes, these fees get attached to any form of care, and can place an undue financial burden on patients. At worst, they can be predatory, costing much more than the appointment or procedure themselves.
LD 1795 would address facility fees directly. It would limit them for any medical services provided on a hospital campus, in an emergency room or outside emergency facility. It would ban them entirely for any outpatient evaluation or diagnostic or imagining service procedures. Hospitals will also be required to submit an annual report on facility fees charged during the year, and must make that publically accessible. This will ensure transparency and accountability from hospitals on just how much they’re charging patients, and for what.
When dealing with a health crisis, the first concern should be getting the treatment needed to get well, not be the cost of treatment itself. This bill is an important step in addressing the out of control health care costs plaguing working families here in Maine. We encourage the Legislature to pass this bill to help ease that burden!