by Kirk S. Cheney
Idaho’s Medical Indigency Act (the “Act”)1 offers significant benefits to medical providers. Idaho’s legislature enacted it in 1974 with the express intent “to allow hospitals to obtain compensation for services rendered to indigents.”2 The Act requires counties to reimburse medical providers for services provided to indigent patients, provided certain conditions are met. By carefully complying with the Act, a medical provider can effectively shift collection risk to the indigent patient’s county of residence.
Not surprisingly, there is significant overlap between patients who are medically indigent and those who seek protection under the Bankruptcy Code. Accordingly, it is important for medical providers to understand how a patient’s bankruptcy may affect the provider’s rights under the Act. This article sets forth two simple rules medical providers should follow to preserve the protections of the Act in their favor, notwithstanding a patient’s subsequent bankruptcy filing. Continue reading