(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) Californians spend more than one hundred billion dollars ($100,000,000,000) annually on health care.
(2) In 1994, an estimated 6.6 million of California's 32 million residents did not have any health insurance and were ineligible for Medi-Cal.
(3) Many of California's uninsured cannot afford basic, preventative health care resulting in these residents relying on emergency rooms for urgent health care, thus driving up health care costs.
(4) Health care should be affordable and accessible to all Californians.
(5) The public interest dictates that uninsured Californians have access to basic, preventative health care at affordable prices.
(b) To encourage the prompt payment of health or medical care claims, health care providers are hereby expressly authorized to grant discounts in health or medical care claims when payment is made promptly within time limits prescribed by the health care providers or institutions rendering the service or treatment.
(c) Notwithstanding any provision in any health care service plan contract or insurance contract to the contrary, health care providers are hereby expressly authorized to grant discounts for health or medical care provided to any patient the health care provider has reasonable cause to believe is not eligible for, or is not entitled to, insurance reimbursement, coverage under the Medi-Cal program, or coverage by a health care service plan for the health or medical care provided. Any discounted fee granted pursuant to this section shall not be deemed to be the health care provider's usual, customary, or reasonable fee for any other purposes, including, but not limited to, any health care service plan contract or insurance contract.
(d) “Health care provider,” as used in this section, means any person licensed or certified pursuant to Division 2 (commencing with Section 500) of the Business and Professions Code , or licensed pursuant to the Osteopathic Initiative Act, or the Chiropractic Initiative Act, or licensed pursuant to Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 1440 ) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code; and any clinic, health dispensary, or health facility, licensed pursuant to Division 2 (commencing with Section 1200) of the Health and Safety Code .
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