A Democratic-controlled legislative committee this week killed a bill that sought to increase transparency surrounding fees assessed by state hospitals.
Senate Bill 22-038, which was sponsored by Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling, and Rep. Hugh McKean, R-Loveland, would have ensured that individuals admitted to a hospital would be able to see how much they must pay towards the state’s hospital provider fee, which is not legally allowed.
It was indefinitely postponed along party lines by the Legislature’s State, Military & Veterans Affairs Committee, with Sens. Julie Gonzales, D-Denver, James Coleman, D-Denver, and Sonia Jaquez Lewis, D-Boulder, voting against it.
Sonnenberg was joined by Sen. Cleave Simpson, R-Alamosa, and members of the Colorado Hospital Association in support for the bill.
“It looks like this session will be more of the same,” Sonnenberg said. “Here’s a bill that had almost no institutional opposition and the support of our hospitals, yet Democrats couldn’t even explain why they were voting no.”
A spokesperson for Senate Democrats did not return a request for comment.
The hospital provider fee is assessed on individual hospitals by the state of Colorado. Revenue generated from the fee is then used in a cost recovery program that provides medical care for people covered under Medicaid and the Colorado Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
According to data from the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, provider fees make up approximately 8% of total expenses hospitals pay each year.
During the same hearing, the committee also killed a bill that would have increased accountability for the Office of Saving People Money on Health Care, an initiative driven by Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera.
“Patients deserve as much transparency as we can give them and the General Assembly has failed in providing it to them,” Sonnenberg said.
This article was originally posted on Legislative committee kills hospital fee transparency bill