New Mexico Law Targets Healthcare Collections

On April 5, 2021, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the Patients Debt Collection Practices Act (Act) into law. The Act lays out several new requirements for healthcare providers, debt buyers, and collection agencies that collect medical debt. The full text of the Act, which goes into effect July 1, 2021, can be found here.

New collections requirements

Among other requirements, the Act requires healthcare facilities to offer certain services to patients regarding insurance verification and provide options and assistance if the patient is uninsured. In addition to other data points, Healthcare facilities will be required to include information about these services in billing statements sent to patients and must provide billing statements to debt collectors and debt buyers before the debt collector or debt buyer can communicate with a patient or otherwise take any collection action. “Collection action” includes selling a medical debt, as well as filing a lawsuit, lien, or garnishment to collect a medical debt. 

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