Colorado bill would ban ‘facility fees’ from certain medical bills. Hospitals say it could end their outpatient care |

Colorado bill would ban ‘facility fees’ from certain medical bills. Hospitals say it could end their outpatient care

Legislation would prohibit the fees on telemedicine care, or for off-site clinics owned by hospitals

Meg Wingerter
The Denver Post

A proposal in the Colorado legislature would ban “facility fees” from certain medical bills, a move the legislation’s sponsors say will save patients from unexpected costs while hospitals argue it would threaten access to health care.

When you get a medical bill, you’ll likely be charged a provider fee (for the doctor or physician associate’s time) and a facility fee, if the clinic where you got care is owned by a hospital. You could also be charged separately for any medications you received or supplies used to treat you.

House Bill 23-1215 would prohibit facility fees if the care is provided via telemedicine, or in a clinic that’s owned by a hospital but not located on its campus. It also would ban facility fees for procedures that can be performed safely somewhere other than a hospital.

The Colorado Medical Services Board would be required to define which services could safely be performed somewhere other than a hospital by the end of March 2024. They could conceivably include almost all imaging services, office visits and at least some minor surgeries.

Other provisions in the bill would:

  • Require providers to notify patients when they could be charged facility fees
  • Direct Colorado’s All Payer Claims Database, which aggregates information about what insurers pay for health care, to compile a report about facility fees
  • Make it a “deceptive trade practice” to charge a facility fee when it’s been banned, which would allow the Colorado Attorney General’s Office to investigate

Read the full story at The Denver Post

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