Colorado Hospital Association Seeks to Address Freestanding Emergency Department Concerns with 2019 Legislation

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COLO. – Jan. 14, 2019 – In the 2019 legislative session, Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) is helping bring forward legislation to create a new licensure category through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for freestanding emergency departments (FSEDs). The Association is pursuing this effort to help address concerns from consumers, legislators and stakeholders in recent years about the proliferation of FSEDs and their billing practices.

Most of the FSEDs in Colorado are owned and/or operated by hospitals or health systems, and CHA and its members are supportive of creating this separate licensure category. Previously, FSEDs were included in an existing licensure category with community clinics and community clinics with emergency care, which often operate in a different manner than FSEDs. If the legislation passes, the State Board of Health will adopt rules for fees and safety and care standards for FSEDs as part of the new licensure category.

“CHA and its member hospitals and health systems appreciate Reps. Kyle Mullica and Lois Landgraf bringing this important legislation (HB 19-1010) forward, and we look forward to discussing the merits of this idea with the Colorado General Assembly,” said Katherine Mulready, CHA senior vice president. “The legislature took an important step last year in creating consumer-directed transparency at FSEDs (SB 18-146), and this legislation will build upon that effort to align state licensure and oversight.”

There has been significant growth in the number of FSEDs in Colorado over the past decade as patient demand for community-based care and shorter wait times grew. CHA understands that this newer care option has been confusing for some consumers. That is why the Association launched the “Where for Care” campaign to help consumers understand the differences in case options that are often available – including primary care, urgent care and emergency care. Learn more and download resources at

About the Colorado Hospital Association

Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) is the leading voice of Colorado’s hospital and health system community. Representing more than 110 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

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