March 22, 2019
Contact: Adam Fox, 303-563-9108, [email protected]
Jenny Davies, 720-296-9545, [email protected]
DENVER – With the bipartisan House passage of HB19-1174 (on a vote 60-4) to protect Colorado consumers from surprise, out-of-network medical bills, the bill will advance to the Senate. If passed, this bill will:
Prohibit balance bills being sent to consumers when they unknowingly receive out-of-network care
Notify consumers of their rights and protections in these scenarios
Set a reasonable benchmark reimbursement rate between insurers and hospitals/doctors to control egregious charges
This statement can be attributed to Adam Fox, director of strategic engagement of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative:
“Coloradans are a step closer to having real protections from surprise medical bills and the financial hardships that often come with them, like being sent to debt collections or having liens put on their homes. Now it is up to our state senators to move HB 1174 forward and overcome the past years of disappointment.
“Doctors and hospitals shouldn’t be able to pick a number out of a hat and charge several – or often, many – times what they would normally be paid with insurance when a consumer can’t avoid receiving out-of-network care. It is time to stop this practice that takes advantage of Coloradans in vulnerable medical situations and jeopardizes their health and financial security.
“It is up to our state senators now to listen to the stories of the growing number of Coloradans who have been hit by these arbitrary surprise bills, been sent to collections, had liens put on their homes, and suffered financially through no fault of their own. The Senate should answer this question: Who’s protected – doctors and hospitals who send egregious bills, or patients? They know the answer, and they need to pass HB 1174 to fix this problem.”
“They need to decide whether to protect consumers from surprise out-of-network bills or let some providers and hospitals continue to gouge their constituents with these outrageous bills.