Frank Vandersloot - medical debt recovery services

Frank VanderSloot shows off a stack of medical bills while addressing state legislators about a proposed bill to reform medical debt collections at Melaleuca headquarters in Idaho Falls on Monday.

The CEO of Melaleuca pitched a proposal to put limits on medical debt collection to almost half of the Idaho Legislature Monday evening, writes Post Register reporter Nathan Brown. “I can’t imagine very much objection to this, given every single family is affected by this one way or the other,” Frank VanderSloot told a crowd of about 50 Idaho lawmakers and others at his corporate headquarters outside of Idaho Falls.

The legislators were in town as part of a tour of the area organized by the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce.

Specifically, VanderSloot is proposing legislation to put limits on attorneys’ fees in medical debt cases; to require health care providers to send out bills and notify patients of services rendered within 30 days; and to require, within another 30 days after that, that a hospital or other health care facility send a patient a consolidated notice containing the names and contact information of all health care providers that are billing them.

VanderSloot, a well-known local businessman and conservative political donor who is reported to be the richest man in Idaho, has been pushing the issue since this spring, Brown reports, when East Idaho News, which Vandersloot helped found, ran a series looking at the local medical debt collection firm Medical Recovery Services. The Idaho Falls law firm Smith, Driscoll and Associates, which is co-owned by lawyer and GOP party official Bryan Smith and employs Rep. Bryan Zollinger, R-Idaho Falls, handles MRS’s cases.

You can read Brown's full story here at postregister.com.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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