The recently passed Colorado Candor Act is a bipartisan effort that establishes a voluntary framework for health care providers and facilities to offer compassionate, honest, timely, and thorough responses to patients who experience an adverse health care incident. It is designed to benefit patients, their families, clinicians, and health care systems by formalizing a non-adversarial process where there can be open communication about what happened, why it happened, and what can be done to prevent this in the future. Under certain circumstances, the process may include an offer of compensation. The Act also allows for enhanced learning opportunities in health care as de-identified information about the adverse incident may be shared with a patient safety-centered nonprofit for use in patient safety research and education.
An overview of Colorado Candor Act process is as follows:
- The process is initiated by the health care provider.
- The written notice must be sent to the patient within 180 days of the incident.
- The notice must include specific details about the patient’s rights and the nature of the communications/discussions under the Colorado Candor Act.
- Under the Colorado Candor Act, health care providers and facilities may investigate, disclose, and communicate about the cause of the incident and what steps are being taken to prevent a similar outcome in the future.
- As part of their assessment, health care providers and facilities can determine whether or not an offer of compensation is warranted.
- To facilitate open communication under the Colorado Candor Act, discussions and offers of compensation under the Act are privileged and confidential.