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April 17, 2023

Bill to Save Coloradans Money on Hospital Costs Advances

DENVER, CO - The House today advanced legislation in a preliminary vote to prohibit facility fee charges for preventative care and telehealth appointments to save Colorado patients money.

“Surprise bills like hospital facility fees are making it more difficult for Coloradans to seek the care that they need because they can’t afford to be surprised by hundreds or thousands of dollars in hidden costs,” said Rep. Emily Sirota, D-Denver. “We need hospital billing to be more transparent for both health centers and Colorado patients so there is a common understanding of what the health care industry can charge and so patients know what to expect. By passing this bill to protect patients, Coloradans will save money and won’t be billed for many exorbitant facility fees.”

“Preventative care is crucial to identify and address health care concerns before they become too aggressive to manage without expensive treatments,” said Rep. Andrew Boesenecker, D-Fort Collins. “Without preventative care, hospitals bear the cost of expensive services due to worsened health conditions, especially if the patient is unable to afford these emergency services. By prohibiting facility fees on preventative care and telehealth appointments, Coloradans will save money on care that keeps them healthy and alive and avoid surprise fees they can’t afford.”

Some health care centers have started to charge patients hidden fees, often called a facility fee, on top of the health care services they are already being charged to cover operating costs. These fees can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars and are impossible for families to budget for, since there is no transparency as to how these fees will be applied. HB23-1215 prohibits health care providers from charging a facility fee for outpatient telehealth or preventative care. Health care providers would also be required to share information about facility fees to patients and post information on their property. The bill makes it a deceptive trade practice to not share facility fee information to patients.

The bill also requires a report to be produced by December 1, 2023 that outlines the details of the impact of facility fees to better understand what these fees cover and how these fees impact patient cost and patient health. An annual report will also be required to improve data collection on facility fees and to increase transparency on the effects of these added costs.

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