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(a) A provider of health care services who obtains a label or copy from the Medi-Cal card or other proof of eligibility pursuant to this chapter shall not seek reimbursement nor attempt to obtain payment for the cost of those covered health care services from the eligible applicant or recipient, or a person other than the department or a third-party payor who provides a contractual or legal entitlement to health care services.
(b) Whenever a service or set of services rendered to a Medi-Cal beneficiary results in the submission of a claim in excess of five hundred dollars ($500), and the beneficiary has given the provider proof of eligibility to receive the service or services, the provider shall issue the beneficiary a receipt to document that appropriate proof of eligibility has been provided. The form and content of those receipts shall be determined by the provider but shall be sufficient to comply with the intent of this subdivision. Nursing facilities and all categories of intermediate care facilities for the developmentally disabled are exempt from the requirements of this subdivision.
(c) In addition to being subject to applicable sanctions set forth in law or regulation, a provider of health care services who obtains a label from, or copy of, the Medi-Cal card or other proof of eligibility pursuant to this chapter, and who subsequently pursues reimbursement or payment for the cost of covered services from the beneficiary or fails to cease collection efforts against the beneficiary for covered services as required by subdivision (d), may be subject to a penalty, payable to the department, not to exceed three times the amount payable by the Medi-Cal program. In implementing this subdivision, mitigating circumstances, which include, but are not limited to, clerical error and good faith mistake, shall be considered when assessing the penalty. Providers subject to penalties under this subdivision shall have the right to appeal the assessed penalty, consistent with department procedures.
(d) When a Medi-Cal provider receives proof of a patient's Medi-Cal eligibility and that provider has previously referred an unpaid bill for services rendered to the patient to a debt collector, the Medi-Cal provider shall promptly notify the debt collector of the patient's Medi-Cal coverage, instruct the debt collector to cease collection efforts on the unpaid bill for the covered services, and notify the patient accordingly.
(e) If a patient provides proof of Medi-Cal eligibility to a debt collector, and the debt collector fails to notify the provider of this proof, the provider shall not be responsible for ensuring that collection efforts against the patient cease pursuant to subdivision (d) until either the patient or the debt collector provides the provider with proof of the patient's Medi-Cal eligibility.
(f) A Medi-Cal provider or debt collector shall be deemed to be in violation of subdivision (a) of Section 1785.25 of the Civil Code if more than 30 days after receiving proof of Medi-Cal coverage the provider or debt collector does either of the following:
(1) Furnishes information regarding the rendering of the Medi-Cal covered services to a consumer credit reporting agency.
(2) Fails to provide corrections of, or instructions to delete, as appropriate, information regarding Medi-Cal covered services previously furnished by that Medi-Cal provider or debt collector to a consumer reporting agency.
(g) This section shall not apply to the Medi-Cal share of cost owed by a Medi-Cal beneficiary, unless the beneficiary's share of cost has been met for the month in which services were rendered.
(h) For purposes of this section, “debt collector” includes any person who regularly engages in debt collection, as defined by Section 1788.2 of the Civil Code, but does not include the original Medi-Cal provider.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - California Code, Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC § 14019.4 - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/ca/welfare-and-institutions-code/wic-sect-14019-4/
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