Medical payment products RFI out for comment until Sept. 11

Input is due Sept. 11 on a request for information about medical payment products, patients’ experiences with them, and health care providers’ incentives to offer the high-cost products to patients, according to a notice in the Federal Register Wednesday from the federal consumer financial protection agency and others.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), jointly with Treasury and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, on July 7 said they were concerned that such products may include avoiding the insurance claims process and financial assistance programs. The CFPB said it would use the public input as it considers ways to address the patient harms caused by these specialty financial products.

The agencies are focusing on the prevalence, nature, and impact of these products, including disparities across different demographic groups. They are looking at whether the products may allow health care providers to operate outside of a broad range of patient and consumer protections and, according to Wednesday’s notice, whether they may contribute to health care cost inflation, displace hospitals’ provision of financial assistance, lead patients to pay inaccurate or inflated medical bills, increase amounts paid due to financing costs, or otherwise harm patients’ mental, physical, and financial well-being.

Additionally, the agencies are seeking input on policy options to protect consumers from harm.

Reg lookup: Request for Information Regarding Medical Payment Products