The chairman of American Samoa's Hospital Authority Board, Moananu Va, says making patients pay ten percent of old hospital bills before service is provided is not a new policy.
Moananu made the comment after some patients at the LBJ Hospital complained that they were taken by surprise by the policy of making them some of their debt.
The policy was approved last summer, but not implemented until recently.
Moananu says the Chief Medical Officer was told to publicise the collection policy, but no media was given any announcement about it.
He says the hospital had to do something about bills dating back several years as some patients who signed promissory agreements with LBJ only made one payment and then never returned.