Our County has appoximately 20 people that have outstanding bills for costs for mental health services. The other day we had one former patient that, upon being billed, said he simply wasn't going to pay because we could not issue a warrant for his arrest.
571.018(d) of the Texas Health and Safety Code allows us to go after the patient for the costs listed in 571.018(c). However, nothing in 571.018 or anywhere else in 571 lays out what we can do if they patient doesn't pay.
552 H&S deals with indigent and non-indigent patients. 552.019 allows for the filing claims for those who don't pay for certain services (and who are not indigent). However, I'm not 100% sure it applies to the "Court costs" under 571.018(c) as 552 pertains to costs for the "support, maintence, and treatment" of the patient" while they are in a state hospital. Moreoover, it only states that the Department my file such claims. It says nothing about the County doint so. It only says the Department may may request the CA or DA to represent them.
Is there anything we can do to collect?
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