Kevin Downey, Colorado Hospital Association
(720) 330-6019
kevin.downey@cha.com

Colorado Hospital Association Statement on Colorado Senate Bill 12-134

Date Feb. 1, 2012

Greenwood Village, Colo. (Feb. 1, 2012) — The Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) issued the following
statement in regards to Colorado Senate Bill 12-134, which was introduced on Jan. 31, 2012:
 
Colorado hospitals are committed to providing essential care to patients regardless of their ability to pay. In
2010, Colorado hospitals provided $448 million in charity care and more than $1.5 billion in overall
uncompensated care.
 
In 2007, the CHA Board of Trustees adopted a policy outlining recommended charity care policies for
Colorado hospitals. Included in this policy is the following:
 
  • CHA believes that hospitals should have financial aid policies consistent with the mission and values of each institution, and that consider each individual’s ability to contribute to the cost of care.
  • Such policies should be clear, understandable, and readily available upon request—the latter of which includes conspicuous posting on a hospital’s website and/or place of entry.
  • Financial aid policies should include flexible payment plans, as appropriate, in the form of a simplyworded written agreement. Such agreements should state if a minimum payment is required, and should be evaluated internally on a regular basis. Financial aid policies should also specify the type and scope of essential services that qualify for any discount.
The charity care and community benefits hospitals provide are already regulated in part by the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA), which includes federal requirements for not-for-profit hospitals. Such ACA provisions include:
  • A hospital must establish a policy that clearly delineates eligibility criteria for financial assistance; the basis for calculating amounts charged to patients; the method for applying for financial assistance; and the actions the hospital may take in the event of non-payment.
  • The policy must be widely publicized.
  • A hospital must limit amounts charged for emergency or other necessary care provided to eligible individuals.
  • A hospital must determine if an individual is eligible for collection efforts prior to billing debt collection.
  • A hospital must conduct a community health needs assessment and implement strategies to meet the needs identified in the assessment.
Consistent with the Association’s charity care policy, CHA wants to ensure that any potential statewide
mandates do not hinder hospitals’ efforts to do what is right for the citizens of their communities or create
unnecessary administrative requirements, which would in turn increase the cost of health care and impede
access. CHA looks forward to discussing these issues with the bill’s sponsors and identifying how to best
ensure patients have access to care while making health care affordable for all Coloradans.

About the Colorado Hospital Association
The Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) represents 100 member hospitals and health systems throughout Colorado. CHA partners with its members to work towards health reform and performance improvement, and provides advocacy and representation at the state and federal level. Colorado hospitals and health systems are committed to providing coverage and access to safe, high-quality and affordable health care. In addition, Colorado hospitals have a tremendous impact on the state’s economic stability and growth, contributing to nearly every community across the state with 72,000 employees statewide.

About CHPSO
CHPSO collaborates with hospital associations to ensure an integrated approach. It also maintains close alliances with other statewide PSOs, quality and safety agencies, research institutes and think tanks. As a result, members gain unprecedented access to the collective intelligence of patient safety experts and innovators. For more information, visit www.chpso.org.