(April 20) – Rep. Dianne Primavera’s bill to give Coloradans a break on the cost of physical rehabilitation services won preliminary House approval this morning.

As amended, HB15-1083 directs the state’s Health Care Cost Containment Commission to study ways to limit the size of the copayments insurance companies can charge patients for physical rehabilitation.

Currently, copays for physical rehab services (physical therapists, chiropractors and occupational therapists) cost the same as specialty medical services (nephrologists, neurologists and oncologists). But physical rehabilitation services generally require 8-12 visits in relatively quick succession. The huge difference in copays prevents many middle- and lower-income people from completing their doctor-prescribed physical rehabilitation sessions, leading to poorer health outcomes and increased demand for state-provided social services, and putting a financial strain on rehab providers’ businesses.

“We want to ensure that all Coloradans can better afford physical rehabilitation services,” said Rep. Primavera, D-Broomfield. “Many middle-class Colorado families can barely afford the specialty copayments regularly assigned to these services.”

The bill requires a recorded vote before heading to the Senate.

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