States focus on data privacy and medical debt in 2021 legislation
At last count, ACA International and its state and regional units were tracking around 850 invoices related to the accounts receivable management (ARM) industry and 22 states were still in legislative session.
Three states adjourned their sessions last week: New York, Louisiana and Connecticut.
“We are all working together to fight, educate, defend and amend legislation on behalf of the industry,” Andrew Madden, ACA vice president of state unit and government affairs, said at the meeting. ACA meeting for members on June 9, which featured updates on ACA compliance. , education, and state and federal advocacy teams.
In case you missed it, here are some status updates to know this week.
Nevada Medical Debt Law
On June 2, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed SB 248, which requires a collection agency to notify a consumer before taking any action to collect a medical debt and prohibits certain practices relating to the collection of a medical debt. The law comes into force on July 1.
The ACA and the Nevada Collectors Association argued for a veto of SB 248 before it reached the governor’s office. Although this did not happen, amendments were made to the bill under the influence of testimony from ACA members and the ACA contacted the Nevada Department of Financial Institutions for advice on the requirements. of the law.
“Nevada is the most difficult political environment for our industry right now,” Madden said. “During the pandemic, the state declared a moratorium on collections and garnishments. It also issued temporary remote working guidelines and continued to expand them throughout the year. “
The ACA and NCA have advocated for work-at-home allowances for licensed agencies after the state included them in the “non-essential” business category in March 2020 and will continue to advocate as the end draws near. current directions. Current guidelines are now in place until July 31, 2021, the ACA previously reported.
Maryland Medical Debt Act
Unlike Nevada, this legislative session’s Maryland Medical Debt Bill became law simply because Governor Larry Hogan did not veto it. In other words, in Maryland, a non-vetoed bill can be finalized without the governor’s signature.
The bill comes into force on January 1, 2022 and includes requirements for hospital debt collection policies and payment terms. It also prohibits a hospital from taking specific measures when collecting debts.
A hospital must submit its policy on patient debt collection each year along with a specific report to the Health Services Cost Review Board (HSCRC), which the HSCRC must compile into an annual debt collection report. medical.
Madden said advocates for health care providers in Maryland have spoken about the impacts of the bill on their sources of income.
“It’s no surprise that this law has come into effect,” Madden said. “Ultimately, this prevents a health care provider from bringing an action or garnishment against a consumer if they are entitled to free or reduced medical bills.”
California – The busiest state
Outside of New York City, Madden said California is the most active on legislation and regulations for the ARM industry.
A bill to amend the Credit Services Act of 1984, sponsored by State Assembly Member Tim Grayson, D-Concord, has been passed by committees of the Banking and Finance Assembly and the protection of privacy and consumers.
The law project, AB 1089, would require, among other things, the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation to authorize, regulate and supervise credit service organizations from January 1, 2023.
The existing law defines and regulates the activities of credit service organizations, which are defined as “a person who, against payment, provides specific credit-related services, such as improving a buyer’s credit record and l ‘obtaining loans. Current law requires credit service agencies to obtain a bond, as specified, before doing business and requires them to register with the Department of Justice, for a fee of $ 100.
The bill would ban unlicensed credit services in California and “require every licensee, among other things, to file affidavits with the Commissioner of the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, maintain a bond and pay to the department its pro rata. share of all costs and expenses reasonably incurred in the administration of these arrangements, as estimated by the Ministry.
Credit service organizations would also be prohibited from sending a dispute to a consumer credit bureau, creditor, debt collector, or debt buyer more than 180 days after the deletion of the debt. disputed account, or failing to provide with its first written communication to a credit bureau or data provider sufficient information to investigate an account dispute.
The bill would require a consumer credit bureau, creditor, debt collector, or debt buyer who knows that a consumer is represented by a credit services organization to contact the credit organization. credit services.
Meanwhile, a medical debt bill is also advancing in California. The law project, AB 1020, passed by the California Assembly and requires hospitals to have a written policy on how they send accounts to third-party debt collectors and places limits on collection actions. It will now be considered by the Senate.
Colorado Data Privacy
The Colorado legislature passed the Colorado Privacy Protection Act (CPA) last week, making it the third state data privacy law in the United States this session, after Washington and Virginia. However, the Colorado House of Representatives added several amendments, meaning the state Senate had an opportunity to review the bill before the June 12 legislative deadline.
If signed by the governor, it will come into force on January 1, 2023. The requirements of the bill include privacy rights of personal data for consumers, such as:
- Specify how the supervisors should fulfill their obligations regarding the assertion of their rights by consumers, transparency, specification of the objective, data minimization, avoidance of secondary use, care, prevention of illegal discrimination and sensitive data
- Require data controllers to carry out a data protection assessment for each of their processing activities involving personal data which presents an increased risk of harm to consumers, such as processing for the purpose of targeted advertising, profiling, the sale of personal data or the processing of sensitive data; and;
- Clarify that a violation of its requirements is deceptive business practice, but the bill can only be enforced by the attorney general or district attorneys.
ACA will continue to monitor these state activities and keep its members informed Daily ACA.
For more state updates, members are invited to join the weekly ACA Huddle meeting at 11 a.m. CDT on Wednesday.
Click on here to complete a one-time registration for the ACA Caucus and stay tuned for more speaker announcements. Members can access recordings of ACA Huddle presentations here.
For more information on how ACA’s licensing staff can help you complete your license applications, please contact us at [email protected] or call (952) 926-6547.