Senate OKs bill targeting predatory medical debt collectors

FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2018, file photo, an American flag hangs inside the rotunda of the Idaho Capitol in Boise, Idaho. (AP Photo/Kimberlee Kruesi, File)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Legislation in Idaho to create transparency in medical bills sent to people and to rein in predatory medical debt collectors is headed to the governor’s desk.

The Senate voted 32-1 Monday to approve the measure that backers are calling consumer protection legislation. The bill seeks to cap attorney fees charged to former patients at $350 for those who do not contest their bills in court and $750 for those who do.

It would also set a 45-day deadline for medical facilities to get bills to peoples’ insurance providers.

Opponents say the measure would increase healthcare costs for people who pay their bills. The House approved the measure 49-20 last month.

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