Some New Mexico hospitals suing over medical debt despite law, report alleges

Some New Mexico hospitals are accused of disregarding a state law protecting low-income patients from medical debt collection, according to NM Political Report. 

The law that went into effect in July 2021 requires hospitals to verify that a patient's income status doesn't fall below 200 percent of the federal poverty line before suing or sending the bill to a collection agency, according to the report. 

But Nicolas Cordova, an attorney for the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, told NM Political Report there are hospitals that are not verifying income status before seeking collection. He declined to name the hospitals. 

A spokesperson for the New Mexico Attorney General's Office said the office has received multiple complaints about providers' noncompliance, according to the report. No formal legal actions have been filed, but two hospitals that file the most medical debt lawsuits are being  investigated, according to the report. 

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