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Maryland legislation seeks to limit hospital interest rates

Baltimore Sun, March 2, 2009

State regulators say they want to bar Maryland hospitals from adding interest on unpaid bills at twice the rate allowed for other types of debts under the state constitution. Stephen Ports, principal deputy director of the Health Services Cost Review Commission, told the Senate Finance Committee that the agency's power to regulate hospitals could extend to how much the debt-collections firms they hire can charge in interest before a court judgment is entered against a patient who doesn't pay a bill. But Sen. Delores G. Kelley questioned whether the regulations would extend beyond hospitals to a "third party" such as a collection agency or a law firm.