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Friday, 26 April 2019 13:43

Hospital Price Transparency

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Beginning in 2020, the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing will be required to report annual uncompensated costs and expenditure by using data submitted by hospitals. Governor Jared Polis signed the law as part of the bigger goal to reduce health care costs.

It was a bipartisan step in the direction to hopefully increase price transparency and efficiency within hospitals. This bill is a first of many steps in Governor Polis’ health care agenda, for which the ultimate goal is lowering private insurer healthcare premiums. Although this bill does not immediately influence healthcare costs, the logic is that if there is transparency in what exactly is costing hospitals so much related to uncompensated care, solutions can be proposed that can assist in cost-containment. Colorado hospital costs were found to be 14 percent more than the national average in 2017—a jump from 3 percent more in 2009. Other sponsors of the initiative hope that the report will provide details as to why those insured by private carriers are continuously paying more when funds to cover uncompensated hospital care have increased dramatically. Hospitals have frequently defended increasing costs for private-insured patients as a financial necessity due to the high and consistently increasing number of Medicare and Medicaid patients. Colorado Health Institute estimates there are about 1.3 million Colorado residents on Medicaid.

Polis stated that “We can’t work on reducing costs if we don’t see how these costs are determined in the first place, or what they are.” The proposed annual hospital report is thought by some to be the solution to this dilemma. The data within the report will include administrative and staffing expenses, capital expenditures, and inpatient, outpatient, and emergency room costs.

We will continue to watch how this initiative progresses, and will bring you up-to-date information on how it may affect your members and their costs. Please reach out to your Fall River Client Manager if you wish to discuss this topic in more detail.

Read 421 times Last modified on Tuesday, 30 April 2019 09:09
Amy Schnicker

Amy Johnston is an Account Manager with extensive experience working with both large and small employers as a broker.  In addition to five years of broker experience prior to joining Fall River, she also brings eight years of insurance carrier expertise.  Amy is an expert on ERISA, the Affordable Care Act, and other compliance issues.

Ms. Johnston received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Colorado State University. She is a Colorado native from Steamboat Springs, and loves spending time in the mountains with her husband, two children, and Tucker the cocker spaniel. She enjoys snowshoeing, hiking, and philanthropy work to promote education.