Protecting Consumers and Saving People Money: Bipartisan Hospital Transparency Law to Take Effect Across Colorado on August 10th

Friday, August 5, 2022

DENVER - Beginning on August 10th, bipartisan legislation HB22-1285 signed into law by Governor Polis and sponsored by House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar and Representative Patrick Neville and Senate Majority Leader Dominick Moreno and Senator John Cooke will take effect across the state. This transformative initiative protects consumers and ensures hospitals in Colorado are complying with the federal hospital transparency law, improving surprise medical billing protections, and saving people money. 

“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,” said Gov. Polis. “This is a great step in improving the healthcare system to ensure affordable, high-quality care for all Coloradans And saving people money.”

HB22-1285 ensures Colorado hospitals are in compliance with federal transparency laws and prohibits hospitals that were not in compliance at the time of treatment from collecting debts from patients. 

"Our law puts patients over profits and puts us one step closer to a health care system that is open and honest about medical costs," said Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo. "Under our law, Coloradans will save money on health care because they'll know the costs upfront and hospitals will be required to follow the rules when it comes to their billing—which means more protections for patients. I'm proud to stand behind this important hospital price transparency law because it's a powerful tool for patients and keeps our health care system in check." 

The bipartisan law allows patients who believe a hospital was not in compliance with federal laws to file a lawsuit to have their debt forgiven and other fees covered. The law also requires hospitals to post standard prices on a public website to increase transparency and accountability. 

"With our price transparency law, patients will be more protected from surprise medical bills that can cost them hundreds if not thousands of dollars," said Rep. Patrick Neville, R-Castle Rock. "Improving price transparency protects patients, cuts costs and limits the ways hospitals not in compliance with federal law can collect medical debt. Our bipartisan law is common sense and puts patients first." 

“According to federal law, hospitals are required to be transparent about the price of services they provide their patients,” said Senate Majority Leader Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City. “We passed a bipartisan bill that prevents Colorado's hospitals from sending medical debt to collections if they are out of compliance with these requirements, and I’m proud to see this law go into effect so Coloradans can make the best healthcare decisions for themselves and their families.”

Governor Polis is committed to saving people money and lowering the cost of healthcare. In the previous legislative session, Governor Polis signed HB22-1370 which requires medical insurers to use prescription drug discounts and rebates to save consumers and employers money. The reinsurance program signed into law by Governor Polis cuts insurance premiums and brings down the cost of healthcare, saving people money across the state. The Polis Administration also created the prescription drug affordability review board that may take action to lower certain prescription drug costs for consumers. Governor Polis is committed to saving people money and expanding affordable high-quality health care for all Coloradans. 

Community leaders praised the signing of this new bipartisan law earlier this year. 

“Today, Governor Polis and Colorado legislators delivered critical healthcare price transparency protections to Coloradans. Patients’ right to see and compare upfront prices in healthcare is truly transformative — it will lead to a better quality of care at a much lower cost, and will finally empower Coloradans to take control of their physical and financial health. Today is a great day for Colorado.”- Cynthia A. Fisher, Founder, and Chairman,

“Rising healthcare costs and associated surprise fees create barriers to entrepreneurship. This is why we are happy that Governor Jared Polis has signed HB22-1284 Health Insurance Surprise Billing Protections and HB22-1285 Prohibit Collection Hospital Not Disclosing Prices into law to increase price transparency, stop surprise hospital billing, and limit debt collections. Increasing transparency in the healthcare system is important for the Colorado small business community and their employees who struggle to afford their healthcare costs. These new laws will help boost accountability and confidence in the healthcare system while also supporting a vibrant business ecosystem.” - Lindsey Vigoda, Colorado Director, Small Business Majority.