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September 7, 2023

NYS DOH Issues New Notice Requirement for Facility Fees

On August 15, 2023, the New York State Department of Health issued a “Dear Administrator” letter addressed to hospitals, diagnostic and treatment centers, and health care professionals to draw attention to a new section of the New York State Public Health Law (PHL), Section 2830,1 as added by Chapter 764 of the Laws of 2022, effective June 21, 2023.

The new law continues the state’s efforts to provide transparency to patients regarding the amounts that may be charged by health care providers as well as protections to prevent medical debt. It states that no hospital, health system, or health care provider shall bill or seek payment from a patient for a “facility fee” that is not covered by the patient’s health insurance carrier unless the patient was notified prior to the date of service that a facility fee would be charged. For the purposes of this section, “fee” means any amount charged or billed by a provider for professional health care services provided in a hospital-based facility.

If a health care provider enters into a business relationship with a hospital or health system that will result in the provider’s patients being subject to facility fees, the health care provider must notify its patients of the change and that facility fees will now be applicable to services received from the health care provider. 

The notice shall be provided in writing at least seven days in advance of each date of service and shall explain the amount of the fee, the purpose of the fee, whether the patient’s insurance plan will pay the fee, and, for uninsured patients, how to apply for financial assistance. If advance written notice is infeasible because the visit was secured less than seven days in advance, then a written notice shall be provided on the date the service is rendered. The notice must be provided in plain language in conspicuous 12-point bold face type and shall be available in the top six languages spoken in the hospital’s service area. 

It is worth noting that under this law, no facility fee is allowed for services related to the provision of preventive care services as defined by the United States Preventive Services Task Force. 

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Fran Ciardullo, special counsel, at fciardullo@barclaydamon.com, or another member of the firm’s Health & Human Services Providers Team.
                                                                                        

1This refers to 2830 Section 2, as there are two provisions titled 2830 in the Public Health Law.

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