Physicians and practice staff need to be aware of a new law that took effect on Sept. 1, 2022, that could complicate billing and payment. Colorado’s Hospital Discounted Care standards, created by House Bill 21-1198, establishes requirements for how hospitals screen, bill and collect payments from low-income patients. Under HB21-1198, hospitals must screen for both public health insurance programs and discounted care, provide information in languages other than English both online and in waiting rooms, and report financial assistance activity.  

One key aspect of HB21-1198 for physicians to note: Hospitals must screen all patients who request to be screened, including those who are insured; if the hospital is unable to screen in the care setting, staff must attempt to screen afterward, via the patient’s preferred communication method, once per month for six months. During this six-month period, a patient can make the decision to essentially waive their commercial insurance coverage and opt into the Hospital Discounted Care program. Read an executive brief from the Colorado Hospital Association. The Colorado Medical Society will continue to monitor the bill and its impact on physicians, billing and reimbursement. 

Categories: Communications, ASAP, Resources, Practice Management, Coding and Billing