The bill prohibits a hospital or other person or entity collecting on behalf of the hospital from initiating or pursuing collection actions against a patient or patient guarantor for debt incurred by the patient on the date or dates of service when the hospital was not in material compliance with federal hospital price transparency laws.
Nothing in the bill:
- Prohibits a hospital from billing a patient or health insurer for items or services provided to the patient; or
- Requires a hospital to refund a payment made to the hospital for items or services provided to a patient.
A hospital that initiates or pursues a prohibited collection action If a patient believes that a hospital was not in material compliance with price transparency laws, the patient or patient guarantor may file a lawsuit. If a judge or jury finds the hospital out of material compliance with federal hospital price transparency laws, the hospital is subject to a penalty equal to the amount of the debt and must refund any amount paid on the debt and pay attorney fees and costs. The bill makes attempting to collect the debt an unfair practice under the "Colorado Fair Debt Collections Act". The bill authorizes the department of public health and environment, in considering a hospital's license renewal application, to consider whether the hospital is or has been in compliance with federal hospital price transparency laws.
Critical access hospitals have more time to comply with federal hospital price transparency laws before the provisions of the bill apply.
(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)