As used in this article, the following terms have the following meanings:

(a) “Allowance for financially qualified patient” means, with respect to services rendered to a financially qualified patient, an allowance that is applied after the hospital’s charges are imposed on the patient, due to the patient’s determined financial inability to pay the charges.

Terms Used In California Health and Safety Code 127400

  • Charity: An agency, institution, or organization in existence and operating for the benefit of an indefinite number of persons and conducted for educational, religious, scientific, medical, or other beneficent purposes.
  • department: means State Department of Health Services. See California Education Code 24943
  • Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
  • Person: means any person, firm, association, organization, partnership, business trust, corporation, limited liability company, or company. See California Education Code 24942
  • Spouse: includes "registered domestic partner" as required by Section 297. See California Education Code 24935
  • State: means the State of California, unless applied to the different parts of the United States. See California Education Code 25000.5

(b) “Federal poverty level” means the poverty guidelines updated periodically in the Federal Register by the United States Department of Health and Human Services under authority of subsection (2) of Section 9902 of Title 42 of the United States Code.

(c) “Financially qualified patient” means a patient who is both of the following:

(1) A patient who is a self-pay patient, as defined in subdivision (f), or a patient with high medical costs, as defined in subdivision (g).

(2) A patient who has a family income that does not exceed 350 percent of the federal poverty level.

(d) “Hospital” means a facility that is required to be licensed under subdivision (a), (b), or (f) of Section 1250, except a facility operated by the State Department of State Hospitals or the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

(e) “Office” means the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.

(f) “Self-pay patient” means a patient who does not have third-party coverage from a health insurer, health care service plan, Medicare, or Medicaid, and whose injury is not a compensable injury for purposes of workers’ compensation, automobile insurance, or other insurance as determined and documented by the hospital. Self-pay patients may include charity care patients.

(g) “A patient with high medical costs” means a person whose family income does not exceed 350 percent of the federal poverty level, as defined in subdivision (b). For these purposes, “high medical costs” means any of the following:

(1) Annual out-of-pocket costs incurred by the individual at the hospital that exceed 10 percent of the patient’s family income in the prior 12 months.

(2) Annual out-of-pocket expenses that exceed 10 percent of the patient’s family income, if the patient provides documentation of the patient’s medical expenses paid by the patient or the patient’s family in the prior 12 months.

(3) A lower level determined by the hospital in accordance with the hospital’s charity care policy.

(h) “Patient’s family” means the following:

(1) For persons 18 years of age and older, spouse, domestic partner, as defined in Section 297 of the Family Code, and dependent children under 21 years of age, whether living at home or not.

(2) For persons under 18 years of age, parent, caretaker relatives, and other children under 21 years of age of the parent or caretaker relative.

(i) “Reasonable payment plan” means monthly payments that are not more than 10 percent of a patient’s family income for a month, excluding deductions for essential living expenses. “Essential living expenses” means, for purposes of this subdivision, expenses for any of the following: rent or house payment and maintenance, food and household supplies, utilities and telephone, clothing, medical and dental payments, insurance, school or child care, child or spousal support, transportation and auto expenses, including insurance, gas, and repairs, installment payments, laundry and cleaning, and other extraordinary expenses.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 758, Sec. 1. (SB 1276) Effective January 1, 2015.)