Bipartisan bill will help lower health care costs

(Jan. 31) – The House approved Rep. Chris Kennedy’s bill to increase transparency for health care costs in Colorado’s hospitals.

“The high cost of health care is impacting consumers and businesses alike. It’s been a real struggle for people to keep up with the rising cost of health care, particularly in rural Colorado where we’re seeing some of the highest premiums in the country,” said Rep. Kennedy, D-Lakewood. “By requiring hospitals to be transparent about their spending, we can increase competition in a way that will reduce costs for all hard-working Coloradans.”

According to data collected by the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), hospital costs account for 39% of health care spending nationwide. Physician and clinical services account for 26%, and prescription drugs and other non-durable medical products account for 11%.

HB19-1001 will require hospitals to disclose more information about spending on patient care, administration, capital construction, and acquisitions of physician groups; and will require hospitals to show how they’re shifting costs onto the backs of families and businesses. By identifying inefficiencies and wasteful spending, businesses and payers will be able to choose more efficient and lower cost hospitals for their networks.

In addition, the data provided to the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) will inform the supplemental payments made to hospitals through the Colorado Healthcare Affordability and Sustainability Enterprise (CHASE) to incentivize value, not volume.

The bill passed with bipartisan support with a vote of 39-22. HB19-1001 now heads to the Senate.

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