(Feb. 28) – A bipartisan bill by Rep. Chris Hansen, D-Denver, that improves protections for doctors and nurses who advocate for improvements in the health care system earned final approval from the House with a 39-26 vote this morning.

“This is an important step forward to improve efficiency and quality in our health care system,” said Rep. Hansen. “Doctors and nurses are excited about this change because they want to advocate for commonsense solutions. They’re the experts and we need to hear from them to be able to make the best decisions for Colorado. ”

Current law protects open medical communications between doctor and patient, including objecting to a medical decision or policy of the healthcare insurer, but this same level of protection does not exist for providers who express disagreement with an insurer’s policies or business practices to their legislators, regulators, or public policy makers.

HB17-1173 protects the ability of providers to communicate with public officials and government agencies about policy issues, possible violations of contract and complaints about quality of care. The bill prohibits a health insurance provider from taking any adverse action against a nurse, doctor or other health care provider for this advocacy.

The bill now moves to the Senate, where it is sponsored by Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton.

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