Even after 2014, a significant number of people will lack health insurance. Many of these folks will continue to access emergency and medically necessary care at their local hospitals, either in the emergency department or as inpatients. In the past, such care would often result in unmanageable bills followed by aggressive collection and, in too many cases, medical bankruptcies and other negative outcomes.
Section 9007 of the Affordable Care Act requires several changes in nonprofit hospitals’ billing and collection activities that should end some of the more egregious examples of these practices. It also requires nonprofit hospitals to make serious efforts, informed by public health experts and community members, to determine the health needs of the communities they serve and take steps to address those needs. Attached please find an NHeLP issue brief that provides background information on nonprofit hospitals, a description of these new requirements and advice and checklists for advocates.