H. B. 2374
(By Delegates Manchin, Longstreth and Caputo)
[Introduced January 11, 2012
; referred to the
Committee on Health and Human Resources then Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §16-29B-17 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to common standards for hospitals’ charity care programs; bad debt collection programs; and requiring hospitals to provide free charity care to uninsured citizens below one hundred percent of the poverty level and lowered rates to those citizens between one hundred and three hundred percent above poverty level.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §16-29B-17 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 29B. HEALTH CARE AUTHORITY.
§16-29B-17. Uniform system of financial reporting.
(a) The board shall develop and specify a uniform system of reporting utilization, accounting and financial reporting, including cost allocation methods by which hospitals shall record their revenues, income, expenses, capital outlays, assets, liabilities and units of service. The development and specification process aforementioned shall be conducted in a manner determined by the board to be most efficient for that purpose notwithstanding the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code. Each hospital shall adopt this uniform system for the purpose of reporting utilization, costs and revenues to the board effective for the fiscal year beginning on or after twelve months from the effective date of this article.
(b) The board may provide for modification in the accounting and reporting system in order to correctly reflect differences in the scope or type of services and financial structures of the various categories, sizes and types of hospitals and in a manner consistent with the purposes of this article.
(c) The board may provide technical assistance to those hospitals which request it and which evidence sufficient need for assistance in the establishment of a data collection system to the extent that funds are available to the board for this purpose.
(d) The board shall, after consultation with health care providers, purchasers, classes of purchasers and third-party payors, adopt a mandatory form for reporting to the board, at its request, medical diagnosis, treatment and other services rendered to each purchaser by health care providers subject to the provisions of this article.
(e) Following a public hearing, the board shall establish a program to minimize the administrative burden on hospitals by eliminating unnecessary duplication of financial and operational reports; and to the extent possible, notwithstanding any other law, coordinate reviews, reports and inspections performed by federal, state, local and private agencies.
(f) Starting July 1, 2011, and every July 1 thereafter, hospitals shall report to the board their charity care policies, how the hospital publicizes its charity care policy and its collection policies for bad debt. After reviewing the charity care and collection policies, the board shall convene a public hearing to determine whether the board should adopt minimum standards for hospital charity care policies, minimum standards for publication and dissemination of these policies and minimum standards for bad debt collection policies. The board may update these standards from time to time. After January 1, 2012, hospitals shall adopt a charity care policy that, at a minimum, provides free charity care to uninsured citizens whose family income is below one hundred percent of the federal poverty level and charges citizens with family incomes one hundred to three hundred percent above federal poverty level a rate not to exceed the allowable rate for Medicare patients for the same service.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide standards for hospitals’ charity care programs and bad debt collection programs and require hospitals to provide free charity care to uninsured citizens below poverty level and lowered rates to those citizens between one hundred and three hundred percent above poverty level.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.