Legislative Session Recap: #EndMedicalDebt

Posted June, 22 2022 by Amanda Dunker

As New York’s 2022 legislative session comes to a close, advocates are taking stock of progress made on the campaign to end the burden of medical debt for patients across the state. The campaign secured a few important wins, but there’s still work to be done to #EndMedicalDebt.

Only one bill did not pass New York’s legislature: 

  • A8441B/S7625B requires all hospitals to use a uniform application form for financial assistance, making it easier for patients to access. 

Most bills related to patient protections against medical debt passed New York’s legislature, and are awaiting the Governor’s signature:

  • A7363A/S6522B addresses aggressive medical debt collection actions, preventing hospitals from placing liens on patients’ homes or garnishing their wages over an unpaid medical bill. 
  • S2521C/3470C regulates facility fees, charges for a hospital’s overhead costs which unfairly inflate medical bills and are often not covered by insurance. 
  • The HEAL Act (S7199A/A8169) ensures that hospitals can pass on price information to the State’s All Payer Database, an important step towards price transparency for patients. 

New York also made progress on two other issues that cost patients money: 

  • S4540A/A5613 provides due process protections for patients who receive an overpayment through Medicaid and other programs due to mistakes on the part of the State. This one is waiting for Governor Hochul’s signature. 
  • S7837/A8388 was signed and is now the law! The bill created new licensing requirements for Pharmacy Benefit Managers and a Pharmacy Benefits Bureau within the Department of Health. 
    • Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) are hired by health insurers to administer the prescription drug portion of their coverage plans. This law will help the state understand PBMs’ impact on drug costs and quality, and explore ways to make prescription drugs more available to the people who need them. 

Advocates have made incredible progress in the fight to end medical debt – now, it’s up to Kathy Hochul to finish the job.

To learn more about the campaign to #EndMedicalDebt and take action, visit cssny.org/EndMedicalDebt. Burdened by large medical bills? Submit your story to wethepatientsny.org.