Kennedy’s Bipartisan Hospital Transparency Bill Headed to Governor’s Desk

(Mar. 18) – Rep. Chris Kennedy’s bill to increase transparency for health care costs in Colorado’s hospitals is headed to Governor Jared Polis’ desk.

“The high cost of health care is harming both Colorado consumers and businesses. Hardworking people are struggling 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.”

The bill passed with bipartisan support in the House with a vote of 39-22 on Jan. 31. HB19-1001 passed with bipartisan support in the Senate with a vote of 34-1 on Mar. 14. It was brought back to the House to approve an amendment added in the Senate, which was concurred. With the new amendments added, the bill passed in the House with a bipartisan final vote of 43-21 today.

“I am happy to see this bill passed with such strong bipartisan support in the House and the Senate. By identifying inefficiencies and wasteful spending, businesses and payers will be able to choose more efficient options and lower hospital costs,” continued Rep. Kennedy.

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

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.

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.

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