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Discounted Care for Indigent Patients

Concerning health-care billing for indigent patients receiving services not reimbursed through the Colorado indigent care program, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
2024 Regular Session
Health Care & Health Insurance
Bill Summary

Current law requires a health-care facility to screen each uninsured patient for eligibility for public health insurance programs, discounted care through the Colorado indigent care program (CICP), and discounted care otherwise not reimbursed through the CICP. A patient qualifies for discounted care if the individual's household income is not more than 250% of the federal poverty level and the individual received a health-care service at a health-care facility (facility). The act limits the health-care services to those received in an inpatient or outpatient hospital setting and adds the requirement that a patient attest to residing in Colorado.

The licensed health-care professional who provides services to a patient is responsible for billing the patient for those services, unless the services are billed on a comprehensive bill issued by a health-care facility.

Current law prohibits a health-care facility and licensed health-care professional (professional) from collecting amounts charged that are more than 4% of the patient's monthly household income on a bill from a facility and that are more than 2% of the patient's monthly household income on a bill from each professional. The act adds the requirement that a facility or professional cannot collect amounts charged that are more than 6% of the patient's household income on a comprehensive bill containing both facility and professional charges.

The act authorizes a health-care facility to deny discounted care to a patient if, during the initial screening, the patient is determined to be presumptively eligible for medicaid.

The act excludes primary care provided in a clinic that is located in a designated rural or frontier county and offers a sliding-fee scale from receiving discounted care.

Current law requires each facility to report to the department of health care policy and financing (department) data that the department determines is necessary to evaluate compliance across race, ethnicity, age, and primary-language-spoken patient groups with the facility's screening, discounted care, payment plan, and collections practices. The act requires professionals, in addition to facilities, to submit the data.

The act authorizes a licensed or certified hospital to determine presumptive eligibility for medicaid.

For the 2024-25 state fiscal year, the act appropriates $154,598 from the healthcare affordability and sustainability fee cash fund to the department of health care policy and financing to implement the act.

APPROVED by Governor May 31, 2024

EFFECTIVE May 31, 2024
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)


Became Law


Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details