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What is the "Fair Patient Billing Act" in Illinois?

While there is sometimes talk of a time when healthcare was much simpler, medical terms in medical bills can seem arcane or even to sophisticated and educated patients. However, one law attempts to reduce the impact of these complex systems of medical billing.

This is the Fair Patient Billing Act (FPBA), which purports to place some restrictions on how hospitals can present their charges to patients, and attempts to protect those patients. The FPBA applies to any hospital that is licensed to serve patients for a fee.

Under the FPBA, there are some requirements for hospitals when they bill patients. The bill must clearly show the dates of service, as well as a description of those services. The hospital must also ensure that the patient is aware of the debt and receives an itemized bill and the patient knows how to contact the hospital, if he or she has questions. If a patient does not have insurance, the bill must also contain information about financial assistance.

While having all this information is definitely a boon for patients, it will not necessarily help them be able to pay. While the FPBA also allows that hospitals must give the patient an option of a reasonable payment plan, this may not mean that the patient is able to pay all his or her debts. Those Illinois residents who find themselves in need of medical debt relief may wish to consider consulting an experienced lawyer. Having the guidance of a professional knowledgeable in the ins and outs of medical bills can be invaluable when faced with difficult payments and the stress of medical emergencies.

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