Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Assembly measure for consumers on medical bills to be introduced

Office of Assemblyman Ramos announces:


            (TRENTON) – Assemblyman Ruben J. Ramos, Jr. is introducing legislation that would require health care providers to employ more practical measures when first attempting to collect payment for services, prior to reporting the outstanding debt to a private collection agency or a consumer reporting agency. 

“Everyone has a responsibility to pay medical bills and debts and no one should escape or evade their responsibilities,” said Ramos (D-Hudson).  “However, emergencies happen. Sometimes unexpected medical costs are too much to pay all at once and good faith efforts are made.  When these efforts are made, debt collectors shouldn't be harassing people and threatening their credit history.”

            This bill would require that a health care provider, including a facility or an individual, observe certain practices during the collection of an outstanding balance in a patient account not reimbursed by a third party payer. 

Specifically, in the case of a patient to whom a health care provider submits a bill for an outstanding balance, the provider must:

(1)  Provide prior written notification to the patient that the provider intends to refer the patient’s account to a private collection agency at least 30 days prior to making that referral; and
(2)  Not communicate information about the outstanding balance in a patient’s account to a consumer reporting agency until at least 45 days have elapsed since the date that the provider referred the patient’s account to a private collection agency.

“This bill provides a lifeline for debtors to make their payments and not have it affect their credit.  At the same time, it also employs a measure of fairness to protect the interests of medical providers and debt collectors by allowing them to still pursue collections,” added Ramos.

A health care provider that violates the provisions of the bill would be subject to penalties to be determined by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services or the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs pursuant to statute.  The bill would take effect on the 90th day after enactment and apply to health care services provided on or after the effective date.

Ramos intends to introduce the legislation the next time the Assembly is in session.

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Sign of the Times: Rolling sales on Washington St

On a recent sunny day, a man was spotted rolling a chair heading uptown on Washington Street.  Nothing unusual if he had a destination, but this one didn't.  The man had put a sign on the chair and was doing a moving sale, literally.  Although he had no immediate success, you can't fault him for enterprise.

A captive audience: two people are pitched on a rolling sale item

This sales pitch didn't go through but the man said he's had success in this operation.  He posts a sign on the item and then continues on his way.  He said he had a number of different furniture items and this was a way to get word out.

The big push - the "for sale" rolling chair

Orwellian revisionism is job #1 at Hoboken411

Although it's not news to anyone, reader Verona submitted this prize of Orwellian revisionism from Hoboken411.  It's a fascinating case where complete control over the public is far more important than permitting even a passing remark of disagreement.

What was the offense?  A commenter tried to slip one past the goalie saying, "Everything turns into an anti-Zimmer campaign."  That comment was replaced with the following interjection in its place by Das Klaussen himself:

 134. hoboken411 
@Journey – The park was indeed “finished” under the Roberts administration – and all Zimmer has to do is maintain it (i.e., trim the bush).
Should other parks created under previous administrations also get abandoned?
For those that say that this isn’t a “park” – the plaque with Zimmer’s name on it says it IS a park. I never heard her requesting that her name get removed either…
In response to Journey who said:
So in 2008 Hoboken411 said, “We won’t see anything else on this (what I call useless for the most part) “feel good Hoboken prize””.
Now he is concerned that it is not finished. I think most people are glad no money is being put into this pit.

The original posts:

  1. 133. Journey 
    August 23rd, 2010 |  
    So in 2008 Hoboken411 said, “We won’t see anything else on this (what I call useless for the most part) “feel good Hoboken prize””.
    Now he is concerned that it is not finished. I think most people are glad no money is being put into this pit.
    Login or Register to reply

  2.  134. Hoboken555 
    August 23rd, 2010 |  
    Great catch, Journey! When I read the first paragraph of this article, I immediately thought that if Zimmer HAD cleaned up the area, 411 would be writing that the Mayor should be spending time on countless other things that “matter”. Everything turns into an anti-Zimmer campaign! And I didn’t vote for her, I just don’t understand how a majority of articles find a way to drag her through the mud….

Personally, you could put a volleyball court over Sybil's cave and most people wouldn't notice or care even if you left the sign up.  You would however have a bunch of very happy volleyball players.

This just shows the extent of isolation Hoboken411 and his ilk find themselves in Hoboken's political climate today.  The good news: at least it's not contagious.  It's kinda sad but illustrative of a broken mind, nuff said.