Some Colorado lawmakers want to ban facility fees at local hospitals in a bid to cut costs for patients. Critics, including many hospitals, say such action would actually heighten expenses that could then be passed onto patients.
The house bill, sponsored by two Democrats, would stop hospitals from charging the fees at outpatient facilities, which pay for support services such as janitorial, nursing and security operations, according to a March 7 Colorado Politics report.
Proponents argue such a rule would eliminate another example of surprise billing. Many times, a patient is not covered by insurance to pay such fees, or is only covered on a limited basis, the report says.
Eliminating such fees, which can cover a myriad of services, reduces another important revenue stream for hospitals, critics say.
Potential risks if the bill becomes law would include longer wait times and forcing vulnerable patients to the emergency room, because outpatient facilities rely on the fees to pay staff, the Colorado Hospital Association said.