Colorado Hospital Association Advocates for Creation of Statewide Advance Directives Registry

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COLO. – April 16, 2019 – End-of-life care can often be the most expensive care over the course of a person’s life, and unwanted end-of-life care adds dramatically to cost within the health care system. Colorado Hospital Association and its member hospitals and health systems are a committed partner on legislation this year that will create an advance directive registry to beginning address that issue and saving money in the health care system. Advance directives are a written statement of a person’s wishes for medical care, which can be especially essential and helpful at end-of-life care. They offer a solution to situations when patients are unable to communicate their own wishes for treatment and have not made them known to family members or physicians in advance. However, in order for advance directives to be effective, health care providers need to know they exist and have ready access to them.

“Colorado hospitals and health systems are committed to improving health care in many ways, and an advance directives registry gives us an ideal opportunity to better respect patient wishes while also driving efficiencies that can save Coloradans money,” said Katherine Mulready, CHA senior vice president. “We are grateful for Sen. Ginal and Rep. Landgraf for bringing this important issue forward, and we look forward to moving forward to implement this system in our hospitals upon the bill’s passage.”

Senate Bill 19-073, sponsored by Sen. Joann Ginal and Rep. Lois Landgraf, would require the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to create and administer a new statewide electronic advance medical directives system, making them available to hospitals and health care providers through the state’s two health information exchanges. Colorado’s new system would be modeled after the many other states that have implemented a statewide electronic advance directives registry that allows providers to see a person’s wishes for medical treatment, regardless of where the person is seeking care and if he or she has provided a copy of the advance directives for the medical staff.

About the Colorado Hospital Association

Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) is the leading voice of Colorado’s hospital and health system community. Representing more than 100 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. Learn more at www.cha.com.

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