Code Section Group

Health and Safety Code - HSC


  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 60. )

CHAPTER 2.5. County Medical Facilities [1440 - 1498]

  ( Chapter 2.5 added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 1993. )

ARTICLE 2. Liability for Cost of Care [1473 - 1475]
  ( Article 2 added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 1993. )


The board of supervisors in each county may fix the rates to be charged patients admitted to any county hospital and may direct any county officer to collect the amounts due the county for hospitalization and medical care. In fixing and collecting hospital charges the board may exercise all the powers conferred by Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 17400) of Part 5 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. The board, or such county officer as it may authorize or designate, may adjust or compromise hospital charges for any of the following reasons:

(a)  The patient, his estate, or legally responsible relatives are unable to pay the charges.

(b)  Collection of the charges is barred by the statute of limitations or is otherwise legally uncollectible.

(c)  The cost of administering a collection procedure would exceed the amount of revenue which might reasonably be anticipated would be recovered.

(d)  Neither the patient nor his legally responsible relatives can be located.

The amendments to this section enacted by the Legislature at the 1973–74 Regular Session shall not be construed to require that any county adopt standards of indigency or requirements of reimbursement more stringent than those in use by such county immediately prior to the effective date of such amendments.

For the purposes of this chapter responsible relative is defined in Section 17300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 162.)


In collecting charges for care rendered under this chapter, the board may exercise all powers provided in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 17400) of Part 5 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, as enacted and as it may be amended thereafter.

(Amended by Stats. 1974, Ch. 545.)


Unless there exists a reciprocal agreement relating to the expense of medical care and treatment, it shall be the duty of every county to pay for the expense of treatment of its indigent residents furnished by the county hospital of any other county. As a condition of liability, the county providing such medical and hospital care shall, not more than ten (10) days after admission, give notice to the county of residence.

(Added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 1993.)

HSCHealth and Safety Code - HSC2.