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Maryland bill introduced to set standards on free, reduced-price care at hospitals

Baltimore Sun, February 11, 2009

Maryland would set a minimum statewide standard for hospitals on providing free or reduced-price care to patients and prohibit hospitals from filing liens on patients' primary residences under a bill introduced in the General Assembly. The bill would require hospitals to provide free care to patients whose incomes are at or below 150% of federal poverty guidelines. The legislation would also bar hospitals from placing liens on patients' homes, ensure that hospitals provide details to state regulators about their oversight of contracts with collection agencies and attorneys, and require hospitals to provide details about the availability of financial assistance.