By J.J. McQueen,
Special to the AFRO
Financial relief is on the horizon for Maryland residents with medical bills.
Legislation focused on finding and reimbursing Marylanders who paid for free medical services was approved by the Maryland House of Delegates and the Maryland State Senate, respectively. The only thing left to do is get a signature from Governor Larry Hogan (R-MD).
Once the bills are signed into law, Health Services Cost Review Commission, in coordination with the Department of Human Services, the State designated exchange, the Office of the Comptroller and the Maryland Hospital Association, would all be tasked with developing a process for identifying patients who paid for hospital services, but may have qualified for free care.
Those who qualify will be reimbursed for picking up the tab on medical services that should have been free at the time. The new practice will require hospitals to implement the process by Jan. 1, 2023.
Maryland is one of the few states that works to protect residents with billing safeguards. With an independent health commission helping negotiate regulatory best practices for the citizens of Maryland, state representatives like Maryland Senator Antonino Hayes are also showing good faith efforts to do the same. By sponsoring HB694, Hayes and other Maryland lawmakers are positioning themselves as the frontrunners for a larger conversation.
In an article released by the Maryland Department of Health and Hygiene in the fiscal year of 2010, the average stay in a Maryland hospital facility was nearly $10,000.
At the time, costs were about three percent less than the national average. Currently, lawmakers are working to maintain the same trend in an effort to keep Maryland residents who live on fixed incomes and are economically challenged, in a place of comfort.
With the added measures of oversight for proactive communication, Maryland tax-payers will be afforded the chance to save money, share information with others, and receive the necessary health-care assistance during visits.
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