California
Limitations on Charges, Billing, and Collections
California law limits hospital billing and collection practices.

California limits the amounts hospitals may charge patients with income not exceeding 350 percent of the federal poverty level. Cal. Health & Safety Code §12705. Hospitals must have written policies specifying when and under whose authority patient debt is referred for collection. Cal. Health & Safety Code §127425(a). For uninsured patients and those with high medical costs, the hospital or assignees of hospital debt owed by a “financially qualified” patient may not, until 150 days after the initial billing, report adverse information concerning the patient to a consumer credit reporting agency and may not commence an action against the patient in civil court. Cal. Health & Safety Code §127425(d). Additional details concerning a patient’s property rights and limits on hospital payment practices are set forth in Cal. Health & Safety Code §§127425-127430.