The U.S. Treasury Department has issued new rules aimed at curbing aggressive debt-collection practices at nonprofit medical centers, NPR reports.
The draft regulations released Friday in accordance with the Affordable Care Act of 2010 would bar debt collection in the emergency departments of nonprofit hospitals and require a clear explanation to patients of ways to secure free or discounted care. Institutions that violate the rules risk losing their tax exemptions.
Minnesota’s attorney general has been investigating alleged high-pressure tactics used by Accretive Health, a private firm contracted to collect patient payments at some nonprofit hospitals in the state.
The rules will not take effect if the Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Care Act. The court was expected to issue its ruling in the case on Thursday.