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New York State Reduces Medical Debt Statue of Limitations to Three Years

medical bills marked "final notice", an empty wallet, and some pocket change

Mon, 04/20/2020 - 12:49

The legislature of the state of New York and Governor Andrew Cuomo enacted the state’s 2021 Executive Budget. Among the budget’s provisions is one that reduces the statute of limitations from six years to three years for collections lawsuits on medical debt.

This legislative change takes the form of an addition (§ 213-d ) to the state’s Civil Practice and Rules that explains that any “action on a medical debt by a hospital…or health care professional…shall be commenced within three years of treatment.”

The new three year statute of limitations takes effect immediately. It is not clear whether or not it applies retroactively, but ACA International’s analysis is that it likely does not. Of note, the statute of limitations begins on the date of treatment, not on the date that patients breach their contract by failing to pay their bills.