Texas' new medical bill transparency law takes effect: 5 things to know

A new Texas law requiring hospitals to provide an itemized bill when billing for medical services went into effect Sept. 1. 

Five things to know:

1. Hospitals and healthcare facilities are required to give patients a written itemized bill before sending it to collection or trying to collect on any money owed, NBC affiliate KXAN reported Sept. 3. The invoice can be issued electronically through a patient portal.

2.  Under the new law, the itemized bill will have to include the amount the hospital will accept as full payment for each service or supply, a plain language description of the charge, and the billing codes and costs provided to third parties involved in reimbursement.  

3. The new law applies to hospitals and healthcare facilities but not to physicians or federally qualified healthcare facilities. 

4. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is overseeing compliance of the new law, according to KXAN. The agency published a guidance letter outlining provider responsibilities and expectations. According to the guidance, providers must submit the itemized bill to patients no later than the 30th day after the provider receives a final payment from a third party. 

5. Disciplinary actions for violations could include denying, suspending or revoking a license and administrative penalties ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 for each day in violation depending on provider type, according to KXAN.

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