Advocates, lawmakers push hospitals to help more with bills

Patient advocates and some state governments say hospitals must do more to help patients deal with medical bills before the debt winds up in collections. They say many people miss out on assistance because they didn’t know about the help or hospitals didn’t do enough to work with patients. The Affordable Care Act requires nonprofit hospitals to notify patients about financial assistance they provide. But it leaves details on how that is done largely up to them. Hospitals say they often notify patients several times about help, and they’ve eased income limits for assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.