Colorado raises stakes for hospitals that don’t comply with price transparency rule

A new Colorado state law prohibits hospitals from pursuing debt collections against patients if the hospital is not in compliance with federal price transparency laws, according to an Aug. 6 report from The Gazette. 

Federal law requires hospitals to post procedure prices on a public website to increase transparency and allow patients to compare costs. 

Noncompliant hospitals cannot use debt collectors, file negative credit reports, or obtain state court judgments for outstanding debts. Hospitals can still bill patients, but if they pursue collections, they must refund any debt paid by the patient, in addition to legal fees.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said this is a great step toward improving the state healthcare system. 

"People deserve to know what all their medical bills will look like and finally we will have better price transparency which is needed for the market to work better in health care and empower patients to take control of their own healthcare needs," Mr. Polis said. 

The state law takes effect Aug. 10. Smaller, critical access hospitals with less than 25 beds have until February 2023 to comply.

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