Attorney General: AG Jepsen Launches New Online Complaint Form on Hospital Facility Fees

 
 
{Attorney General Press Release Header}
 
October 29, 2013
 
 
AG Jepsen Launches New Online Complaint
Form on Hospital Facility Fees
 
 
Attorney General George Jepsen today encouraged Connecticut patients who have been billed for a so-called “facility fee” without notice from their healthcare provider when receiving medical treatment, or who were told they would be charged a facility fee but were not told the amount or experienced difficulty in learning the amount of the facility fee, to submit a complaint to his office using a new form, available by clicking the “Facility Fee Complaints” button on his Web site at www.ct.gov/ag.
 
“As part of the due diligence my office is exercising in order to craft legislation that will provide meaningful notice and pricing transparency for consumers, I would like to hear from consumers themselves,” Attorney General Jepsen said. “This new complaint form provides an easy way for consumers who were unaware that they were going to be charged a facility fee as part of their bill for medical services or procedures, or who were not told the amount of the facility fee and were surprised by the charge, to provide the details of their experiences. Those with questions about the complaint forms, or those who prefer to speak with a member of my staff, can call my office at 860-808-5355.”
 
Last month, Attorney General Jepsen announced his intent to seek legislation in the coming legislative session to require greater disclosure of hospital facility fees, which are included as an independent component of outpatient care fees, are intended to cover overhead costs and are in addition to the professional charges billed by the provider.
 
The Attorney General’s legislation will likely focus on those facility fees levied by a previously independent physician practice, free-standing ambulatory surgical center or urgent care center that has been acquired by a hospital. There is concern that entities acquired by hospitals may not clearly disclose their affiliation with a hospital or the fact that they will charge a separate – and often expensive – facility fee that now covers a portion of the hospital’s ongoing operating expenses.
 
In addition to encouraging Connecticut patients to file a complaint, the Attorney General today urged consumers to take proactive steps seeking information about their physician practice and any costs they may incur when seeking treatment.
 
“Patients should ask their providers before receiving services: Is your practice owned by a hospital?” said Attorney General Jepsen. “How much will you charge for the office visit and treatment, is there a hospital facility fee in addition to your professional fee, and if so, how much is that fee? In this period of rapid consolidation in the healthcare industry, it’s important for patients, as healthcare consumers, to take proactive steps in order to make fully informed choices about their care.”
 
The Attorney General’s Healthcare Competition Working Group – Assistant Attorneys General Charles Hulin, Thomas Ryan, Rachel Davis, Gary Becker and Richard Porter – under the direction of Assistant Attorney General Michael Cole, chief of the Antitrust and Government Program Fraud department, and Special Counsel Robert Clark are assisting the Attorney General with this matter.
 
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Media Contact:
Jaclyn M. Falkowski
860-808-5324 (office)
860-655-3903 (cell)
 
Consumer Inquiries:
860-808-5318
Twitter: @AGJepsen


Content Last Modified on 11/22/2013 12:38:37 PM