23 rural Colorado hospitals could close under public option, report suggests

Eighty-three percent of hospitals in Colorado would see lower reimbursement under a proposed public insurance option, according to research released by a lobbying group representing hospitals and insurers.

Potential financial constraints could put 23 rural hospitals at higher risk of closure, FTI Consulting and Colorado's Health Care Future said in a report that was released days before Colorado's legislative sessions began on Jan. 8, according to The Denver Post.

In November 2019, Colorado lawmakers unveiled their final proposal to require a public health insurance option in the state — a policy only the state of Washington has implemented. Under the proposal, Colorado would set prices for hospitals that treat patients covered by the public option. Prices would not be tied to Medicare rates, but be set using a formula developed by state officials.

While hospital groups like Colorado's Health Care Future and the Colorado Hospital Association have largely opposed the bill, proponents argue the proposal could lower healthcare costs and increase insurance options for consumers.

Read the full report from The Denver Post here.

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