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HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 22
INTRODUCED BY G. MASOLO, D. GRIMES, D. ADAMS, C. AHNER, J. ANDERSEN, J. BARNETT, M. BRAINARD, R. BROWN, E. CLARK, R. CLARK, J. COBB, A. CURTISS, T. FACEY, S. FISHER, D. FUCHS, K. GALVIN-HALCRO, L. GRINDE, D. HAINES, D. HEDGES, J. HOLDEN, V. JACKSON, S. KITZENBERG, B. KRENZLER, J. MANGAN, L. MCCULLOCH, D. MCGEE, J. MERCER, B. MOLNAR, D. MOOD, M. NOENNIG, R. PECK, J. QUILICI, S. ROSE, B. RYAN, B. SIMON, P. SLITER, F. SMITH, R. SOMERVILLE, J. STOVALL, E. SWANSON, L. TAYLOR, F. THOMAS, C. TUSS, A. WALTERS, C. WILLIAMS, D. WYATT, T. ZOOK
A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA URGING HOSPITALS AND HEALTH CARE FACILITIES TO PROVIDE HEALTH CONSUMERS WITH SIMPLE AND STRAIGHTFORWARD BILLING INFORMATION TO ASSIST CONSUMERS IN UNDERSTANDING THE TRUE COSTS OF HEALTH CARE AND THE GOODS AND SERVICES THAT THEY RECEIVE.
WHEREAS, because the billing requirements for various federal and other insurance programs determine how charges are applied to medical goods and services received in hospitals; and
WHEREAS, it is difficult for many patients to understand the billing information that is unrelated to their care because of the complexity; and
WHEREAS, hospitals and other health care facilities must apportion indirect costs, such as liability, nursing staff, administrative, and other costs, that are beyond the control or direction of the patient to the billing costs for each patient; and
WHEREAS, health care costs continue to rise at a pace higher than the general inflation rate and consume a greater portion of household assets, especially as the population ages; and
WHEREAS, a health care consumer should be able to receive thorough and straightforward information regarding the expenses that are accrued receiving health care goods and services, especially inpatient costs, for which a patient is expected to pay.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
(1) That a patient is entitled to receive, upon request, an itemized billing of goods and services received in a hospital or health care facility. If the itemized billing is listed using a code system, the code should also include the specific name of the coded category and other explanatory language if necessary to help the patient understand the charges billed.
(2) That hospitals and health care facilities should, to the best of their ability, explain the charges and what is included within each category charged to any patient seeking additional information.
(3) That hospitals and health care facilities or their respective organizations develop consumer information that explains to a patient all of the costs that are not directly related to a patient's experience that must go into their billing practices and how those costs are apportioned to the various charges on a patient's bill.
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Latest Version of HJ 22 (HJ0022.ENR)
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