DENVER – HB19-1174, a proposal to address surprise medical bills resulting from unintentional out-of-network usage, is being heard this afternoon by the House Health and Insurance Committee.
This statement can be attributed to Adela Flores-Brennan, Executive Director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative:
“At the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, we have been working for several years to help consumers who have been hit with surprise or balance bills and make changes at the systems level to prevent this practice from happening at all. It is one of the biggest drivers of calls to our Consumer Assistance Program. We are alarmed and frustrated by a practice that jeopardizes the health and financial security of so many Coloradans.
“The arbitrariness and unfairness of surprise billing are simply mind-boggling. We are supporting HB19-1174 because health care consumers in Colorado need protection. It is well past time to stop these egregious bills that put consumers on the hook and place them in the middle of a battle between providers and carriers. It is time to stop adding insult to injury (literally) by balance billing patients who had the misfortune of needing an emergency room or emergency transportation. It is time to stop sending patients to collections, or liens on their houses, for services provided by people they didn’t even know were in the operating room.
“This bill will protect consumers from these bills, ensure they are notified if they’re at risk of receiving out-of-network treatment, and set a reasonable reimbursement rate for out-of-network care between providers and insurers to control health care costs.”
Colorado Consumer Health Initiative is a nonpartisan, nonprofit group that represents 45+ Colorado health organizations with more than 500,000 health care consumer members advocating for high-quality, affordable and equitable health care. In 2018, CCHI received the “Get Wise” Consumer Protection award from the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA).