(March 28) – A bill by Rep. Chris Kennedy, D-Lakewood, to increase
transparency about health care costs in Colorado’s hospitals earned
initial approval from the House on second reading this morning.

“This is all about hospital transparency—transparency for consumers and
for policymakers,” said Rep. Kennedy. “With as much money as we spend on
hospitals, we need to better understand how that money is being spent. The
bill requires hospitals to submit two reports to the Department of Health
Care Policy and Financing so that we can analyze and break down how we are
spending money in our healthcare system.”

Rep. Kennedy continued with an example of how this data can help create
better policy.

“Over the last few years, we’ve actually reduced our uncompensated care in
this state from $2.6 billion down to $1 billion a year, and yet we have no
idea how that breaks down between metro-area and rural hospitals. With
this bill, the hope is we learn some information to craft future policies
that will make healthcare more affordable and allocate our hospital
provider fee dollars more effectively.”

HB17-1236 requires hospitals to send cost reports and their financial
audits to the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF), which
will then prepare an annual report of hospital expenditures, including
inpatient and outpatient care, administrative and capital costs, and
uncompensated care. HCPF would then submit the information to the General
Assembly, the Governor and the Medical Services Board.

The bill proceeds to a recorded third reading vote.

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