Bill aims to protect patients from 3rd-party financing

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A bill introduced in Illinois would require dentists and their employees to provide patients with written treatment plans and cost estimates for services before offering, arranging, or establishing third-party financing.

On February 7, HB 4891 was introduced to the Illinois House of Representatives seeking to change the Illinois Dental Practice Act. The bill proposes mandating dentists or their employees to provide a patient with a treatment plan, including a summary of each anticipated service and "good faith" estimates of expected charges before setting up open-end credit, a line of credit, or a loan extended by a third party.

If the bill is passed by the Illinois House and Senate and signed by the governor, the law will go into effect on January 1, 2025.

Also, the proposed legislation would require oral health professionals to not offer or broker any type of financing without providing a form disclosure. Furthermore, dentists or employees would be prohibited from doing the following:

  • Filling out any portion of a financing application

  • Offering financing to any patient who was administered or is under the influence of conscious sedation, nitrous oxide, anesthesia, or any other substance that would affect their judgement

  • Extending an application to a patient who is in an exam, treatment, or surgical room or any other space where medical treatment is administered

  • Proffering a third-party financing plan that includes a deferred interest provision

Moreover, the bill stipulates that neither dentists nor employees can offer or set up third-party financing if treatment has yet to be rendered or costs associated with it have yet to be incurred.

Finally, if a practice accepts a patient’s dental plan coverage, the treatment plan must show the plan’s share of cost for each service. If the coverage is not accepted, the patient’s treatment plan must indicate that services may or may not be covered and the person has the right to confirm benefits before starting treatment.


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