Colorado Hospital Association Leads Legislation to Provide Rural Hospitals Regulatory Relief

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COLO. – Leaders from Colorado’s rural hospitals traveled to the Capitol today to meet with legislators and discuss topics of key importance – including health care affordability, access to care in rural Colorado and opportunities for regulatory relief. Rural hospitals are often the lifeblood of their communities, yet many are challenged by state regulatory requirements that are outdated or created undue burdens for Colorado’s rural communities. To address those, Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) is working to revise current requirements for the governance boards for public hospitals.

House Bill (HB) 19-1065, sponsored by Sen. Bob Rankin, would revise current law that mandates that only four of the seven trustees on a public hospital board may be residents of the city or town where the hospital is located. It would also create an exemption to current law for a requirement for approval from the board of county commissioners for certain real and personal property by lease.

“Colorado’s rural hospitals provide vital services for their communities – and often for many other nearby communities,” said Gail Finley, CHA vice president of rural health and hospitals. “However, hospitals face substantial regulatory burden that is often challenging and costly. We are grateful to Sen. Rankin for bringing this legislation forward, and we hope the Colorado General Assembly will approve these regulatory changes that will ease these unnecessary restrictions on our rural hospitals.”

“We are very thankful for Sen. Rankin and the members of the state legislature for considering this bill,” said Andy Daniels, CEO of Memorial Regional Health in Craig, Colo. “Passage of this bill will help simplify processes with county-based hospitals and health centers, like Memorial Regional Health, by providing a legislative fix to allow hospital business to move forward in a timelier manner. It will also allow County Commissioners a larger selection of individuals to serve as Trustees, which could greatly help a hospital like mine as we recruit our Board of Trustees in future years.”

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