As reported in last week's Policy Pulse enewsletter, the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association has filed two ballot measures to eliminate Colorado’s non-economic damages cap altogether and remove peer review confidentiality protections. This attack would significantly increase the cost of liability insurance for all health care providers and have a ripple effect on the cost of and access to health care for all Coloradans.  

Colorado Medical Society, COPIC, the Colorado Hospital Association, and the entire House of Medicine is fighting back. Working as a coalition through Coloradans Protecting Patient Access (CPPA), we have filed counter ballot measures and are pursuing a proactive policy at the State Capitol this legislative session. 

Legislative fix 

Last night, the CMS Council on Legislation voted to support Senate Bill 24-130, sponsored by CMS Defender of Medicine award winner Sen. Kyle Mullica, that will increase the medical non-economic damage cap to $500,000 over the next five years. This bill is a reasonable and balanced approach given that caps have not changed in 20 years and Colorado has the fifth lowest caps in the nation. The bill will provide fair and just compensation in medical liability cases, while also ensuring accessibility, affordability, and stability in Colorado’s health care system. Getting it passed in the legislature is a priority. 

Keeping our health care environment healthy means increasing caps to a reasonable level, while ensuring caps are not eliminated altogether. We know that if the medical non-economic damage cap is set too high or eliminated, liability insurance becomes unaffordable for providers and health care organizations, driving them out of the state. This impacts access to care (especially in rural areas and for high-risk patients requiring specialty care), dramatically increases health care costs, and hurts our business environment.  

Ready for November 

While we drive forward with a legislative strategy, we also need to prepare for a November ballot initiative battle. We must immediately raise critical funds to fuel a robust statewide ballot campaign to defeat both trial lawyer ballot Initiatives and to pass those introduced by the CPPA coalition. Victory will take the combined financial support of the entire health care industry. There are no restrictions on who can donate (individuals or businesses) or how much can be donated. Please reach out to your colleagues, employers, business associates, friends, and family to invest in this fight. Act now! To donate: 

  • Send a check made out to the Colorado Medical Society with Liability Defense Fund written in the memo section, to 7351 E. Lowry Blvd, Suite 110, Denver, CO 80230. 
  • Or call the CMS offices at 720-859-1001 Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. to make a secure contribution using your credit card. 

Stay tuned for more information.

Categories: Communications, ASAP, Legislative Updates