§ 143‑118.  Secretary of Health and Human Services to fix cost and charges.

(a) The Secretary shall determine and fix the actual cost of care to be paid by and for each person admitted to an institution. The Secretary is given full and final authority to fix a general rate of charge based on said actual cost of providing care, to be paid by persons admitted able to pay the rate or charge, or, in cases where indigent persons admitted are later found to be nonindigent, then cost for their care shall be paid in one or more payments based on the rate of charge in effect for the period or periods of time during which the persons admitted were receiving care in the institutions.

(b), (c) Repealed by Session Laws 1985, c. 508, s. 5.

(d) The Secretary shall ascertain which of the persons admitted or persons legally responsible for them are financially able to pay the cost fixed.

(e) The Secretary is empowered to enter into contracts of compromise of accounts owing to the institution for past, present or future care at the institutions, including but not limited to the authority to enter into a contract to charge nothing, which contract shall be binding on the respective institution under the terms and for the period specified in the contract. The rates set by the compromise shall be determined in the discretion of the Secretary by the ability to pay of the person admitted or the person legally responsible for his support. This subsection shall not be construed as mandatory and if a contract is not entered into or terminates or if the obligor defaults in the payment of a compromise account or any installment, then the full actual cost of care shall be assessed against the person admitted.

(f) For any client admitted under Part 2 of Article 5 of G.S. 122C to a State facility for the mentally ill designated for research purposes in accordance with G.S. 122C‑210.2, the Secretary may reduce the rates set by compromise in G.S. 143‑118(e) by not more than one‑half the amount of that rate. (1925, c. 120, s. 2; 1935, c. 186, s. 1; 1981, c. 562, s. 6; 1985, c. 508, ss. 4‑6; 1987, c. 358, s. 2; 1997‑443, s. 11A.118(a).)