Cara Welch, Colorado Hospital Association
(720) 330-6073
cara.welch@cha.com

CHA Responds to Attorney General Opinion on Hospital Provider Fee Enterprise

Date Feb. 29, 2016

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COLO. – This morning, Colorado Attorney General (AG) Cynthia Coffman released a formal legal opinion on the constitutionality of changing the current Hospital Provider Fee (HPF) into a government-owned enterprise and affirms that an HPF enterprise would legally qualify under Colorado’s constitution. Importantly, it also removes the provider fee revenue from the state’s TABOR calculation, which will allow the legislature to focus on funding critical issues such as transportation, education and health care. It is widely agreed that the HPF should have been made an enterprise in 2009 when it was first created, and the legislature can and should take action to fix that mistake.
 
The AG opinion aligns with the bipartisan legal memo released earlier this month by Jon Anderson and Trey Rogers, legal counsels to former Governors Owens and Ritter respectively. Current Colorado Springs Mayor and former Colorado Attorney General John Suthers supported the analysis and conclusion of the Anderson-Rogers memo.
 
Steven J. Summer, Colorado Hospital Association president and CEO, stated – “CHA thanks Attorney General Coffman for her considered analysis and opinion on this important matter. By changing the existing HPF into an enterprise, the legislature can focus on prioritizing limited state funding to critical state priorities. The enterprise is a win-win for taxpayers, communities and the patients for whom Colorado hospitals provide care, and it is supported by a broad, statewide coalition of business organizations and other advocates. It’s time to stop wasting energy on excuses for why not to create an HPF enterprise and act. CHA urges the General Assembly to introduce and pass a bill establishing an HPF enterprise this year.”

About the Colorado Hospital Association
The Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) is the leading voice of Colorado’s hospital and health system community. Representing more than 100 member hospitals and health systems throughout the state, CHA serves as a trusted, credible and reliable resource on health issues, hospital data and trends for its members, media, policymakers and the general public. Through CHA, Colorado’s hospitals and health systems work together in their shared commitment to improve health and health care in Colorado.
 
CHA is a member of the Fix the Glitch coalition. The coalition, which has grown to represent nearly 60 statewide business, health and regional organizations, has called for the Colorado General Assembly to place the Hospital Provider Fee in an enterprise fund. For additional information and a full list of supporters, visit fixtheglitch.org.
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