|Limitations on Charges, Billing, and Collections|
|Colorado law limits nonprofit and for-profit hospital charges and collection practices.
Colorado law limits billing and collection practices against persons eligible for assistance under the hospital’s financial assistance policy. Such persons may be charged no more than the lowest negotiated rate charged to a private health plan. In addition, before initiating collection proceedings, hospitals must: 1) offer qualified patients a reasonable payment plan and 2) allow for a 30-day period past the due date of the first scheduled payment that is not paid in full. Colo. Rev. Stat. §25-3-112(3), (4)(a) (2014); (SB 14-50). If a hospital discovers it has made an error, then the hospital should correct the error or omission, inform the patient, provide a financial correction, and inform the health department. The health department will make self-reported incidents, investigations, and complaints available to the public. Colo. Rev. Stat. §25-3-112(3.5) (2014), (SB 14-50).
If a hospital is notified by the health department that it is not in compliance with governing statutes or regulations, then it must file a corrective action plan that includes measures to inform the patient or patients, and provide a financial correction consistent with the statute and regulations. A hospital should not initiate collections proceedings if it is notified that it must submit a corrective action plan or when it is operating under a corrective action plan. Colo. Rev. Stat. §25-3-112(4)(b) (2014), (SB 14-50).
SB 14-50 also establishes compliance monitoring of hospitals and hospital penalties for “knowing or willfull noncompliance.”