051023CM1080SPRINGFIELD – A measure to help connect hospital patients to financial assistance for medical costs passed the Senate Thursday thanks to State Senator Robert Peters.

“Not everyone is fortunate enough to have health insurance to cover medical costs,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “These days, even people with medical insurance are financially vulnerable.”

House Bill 2719 requires hospitals to screen a patient for financial assistance eligibility and to exhaust all cost-reducing avenues before taking a collection action against the patient. Additionally, the measure would provide a 90-day window for a patient to apply for financial assistance or hospital-provided discounts after receiving care.

“Cost savings programs that are available aren’t always promoted enough to folks who are financially vulnerable,” Peters said. “Hospitals aren’t always equipped with the resources to inform patients of financial assistance programs. This measure seeks to support both hospitals and hospital patients in a way that benefits the entire community.”

House Bill 2719 passed the Senate Thursday.

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