House Committee Approves Hospital Transparency & ER Licensing Bills

State Ships Nearly $3 billion in State & Federal Dollars to Hospitals Every Year

(Jan. 16) – The House Health and Insurance Committee approved two bills to increase transparency for health care costs in Colorado’s hospitals and improve safety at emergency room departments.

“This bill is focused on ensuring transparency for consumers and for policymakers when it comes to hospital costs,” said Rep. Kennedy, D-Lakewood. “This bill will ensure our continued support for rural hospitals and to prepare hospitals for the future in which they are reimbursed for value, not volume.”

HB19-1001 will increase transparency in hospital billing and spending practices across Colorado. At a time when health care costs are out of control – especially in rural communities – it is important to identify inefficiencies and wasteful spending in our health care system and address them accordingly. This bill also requires hospitals to share more of their financial information with the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF).

The bill passed on a vote of 8-2. HB19-1001 goes to the House floor.

The committee also approved Rep. Kyle Mullica’s bipartisan Freestanding Emergency Departments Licensure bill.

“This bipartisan bill will ensure patients receive care in a safe manner and that emergency departments in rural, urban and suburban communities offer the best services available,” said Rep. Mullica, D-Northglenn.

Rep. Mullica is an emergency room nurse by trade. House Democrats have a number of health care workers in their ranks this session.

This bill will bring freestanding emergency departments under the same regulatory umbrella as traditional hospital emergency rooms to ensure the safety and wellbeing of patients. This will ultimately improve the quality of care for patients and increase health care affordability.

HB 19-1010 creates a new license for Freestanding Emergency Departments (FSEDs) through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). It also requires FSEDs to medically screen every patient seeking care as well as prohibit them from delaying a medical examination in order to inquire about the patient’s ability to pay for the care or their insurance status.

HB19-1010 passed by a vote of 10-0. The bill goes to the Finance Committee.

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