House Bill (HB) 21-1198, otherwise known as Health Care Billing Requirements for Indigent Patients, establishes requirements for hospital discounted care for low income patients. They will be given the opportunity to apply for financial assistance or charity care programs at the health care facility where they receive care. Service charges will be the greater of either the Medicare rate or Medicaid base rate. Payment plans that are established to pay the bills may not exceed four (4) percent of the patient's monthly household income. For bills from health care professionals, the limit is two (2) percent of the monthly household income. Once 36 payments have been made, the remainder of the bill is forgiven. HB 21-1198 will also set rules for hospitals that limit collections against a patient.
Hospital Discounted Care - Patient Information Page
Hospital Discounted Care Frequently Asked Questions
Hospital Discounted Care Rates
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- 2022-23 Hospital Discounted Care Operations Manual
Questions about the policies and procedures contained in the Operations Manual can be sent to hcpf_HospDiscountCare@state.co.us. In your email, please include the article and/or section number your question stems from.
- Patient Rights
Per HB 21-1198, The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (the Department) developed a Patient's Rights form using feedback from numerous stakeholders. The form is provided below in both English and Spanish.
Effective June 1, 2022, Health Care Facilities, which include general acute care or critical access hospitals or free standing emergency departments must have this patient's rights form available to the public and to each patient. This includes:
- Posting the Spanish and English patient's rights form conspicuously on the Health Care Facilities website, including a link to the information on the Health Care Facilities main landing page;
- Make the form available in patient waiting areas;
- Make the information available to each patient, or the patient's legal guardian, verbally, which may include using a professional interpretation service, or in writing in the patient's or legal guardian's preferred language before the patient is discharged from the Health Care Facility; and
- Inform each patient or the patient's legal guardian on the billing statement of the patient's rights. Including the right to apply for discounted care, and provide the website, email address, and telephone number where the information may be obtained in the patient's preferred language.
- Decline Screening Forms
Patients may decline the screening for public health care coverage and/or discounted health care. The decision to decline screening is not final.
Generally, a decline screening form only covers one episode of care and any services provided related to the original episode of care. A decline screening form may cover additional past dates of service if the patient or their guardian signs a decline screening form that notes those specific past dates of service or a past date range that includes those specific past dates of service. A decline screening form cannot be collected for dates of service that have not occurred yet and are not related to a previous episode of care.
A patient’s decision to decline the screening that is documented and complies with Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing CCR Rule is a complete defense to a claim brought by a patient under CSR Section 25.5-3-506 (2) for a violation of CSR Section 25.5-3-506 (1)(a) OR (1)(b).
- Form to Opt Out of Screening for Public Health Insurance and Hospital Discounted Care
- Form to Opt Out of Screening for Public Health Insurance and Hospital Discounted Care - SPANISH
- What Services are Covered?
Health care services covered include any services received in a general acute care or critical access hospital or free standing emergency department. Services provided by health care professionals in these settings are also covered. HB 21-1198 requires that all uninsured patients be screened for eligibility for Health First Colorado, CHP+, Medicare, Emergency Medicaid, the CICP, and discounted health care. Uninsured patients must be screened or formally waive their screening. Insured patients may request to be screened.
- Hospital Discounted Care Rates
Rates for Hospital Discounted Care and the Maximum Payment Calculator are now available online on the Provider Rates and Fee Schedule site. Hospital Discounted Care limits the cost of hospital care for low income, uninsured Coloradans receiving services through hospitals’ financial assistance. Rates approximate 100% of Medicare or 100% of Medicaid, whichever is greater. These rates are the maximum that can be charged for hospital services under Hospital Discounted Care.
Rates are effective June 1, 2022 and will be updated annually by July 1. Starting July 1, 2022, rates will include Free Standing Emergency Departments. Contact us by email at the Hospital Discounted Care inbox hcpf_HospDiscountCare@state.co.us with any questions regarding these rates.
The Department is working on the implementation of this Bill, which will begin on June 1, 2022. On this date, hospitals will be expected to screen patients to determine whether they are eligible for the discounted care. Health care professionals will also be subject to a maximum they can bill a qualified patient. Also, certain limitations to collection actions will begin for hospitals and health care professionals.
If you would like to stay up to date with the implementation process and receive information on how you can participate, you can sign up to receive the Hospital Discounted Care newsletter.
- Stakeholder Meetings
The Department held three Stakeholder meetings in January. They were held on January 18, 19 and 20, 2022.The meetings on January 18 and 19, 2022 were for stakeholders and advocates:
- Meeting Agenda and Presentation
- Spanish Presentation
- Draft Patients Rights
- Draft Opt-Out Form
- Jan. 19, 2022 Meeting Recording
- Jan. 19, 2022 Spanish Meeting Recording
An additional stakeholder meeting was held on February 16, 2022.
Providers must have at least one staff member attend each of the two trainings, and are encouraged to have at least one staff member attend the Question and Answer session. The training registration form will ask for your facility name when registering. The question and answer session will cover all questions asked during the first four training sessions and will have an open forum for additional questions.
Please ensure to review the Operations Manual prior to the training. Training will contain attendee participation questions throughout to determine how well providers have understood the information contained in the Operations Manual.
Hospital Discounted Care Policies and Procedures
Uniform Application for Hospital Discounted Care and CICP
- Uniform Application for Hospital Discounted Care and CICP Training Slides
- Uniform Application for Hospital Discounted Care and CICP for Note Taking
Question and Answer Session
- Draft Rules
The draft rules were presented at a webinar on March 1, 2022. Live Spanish Interpretation was provided.
- Get Involved
Rules for Hospital Discounted Care were presented for emergency adoption on March 11, 2022.
The Public Rule Review Meeting for these rules is scheduled for April 18, 2022. The Public Rule Review Meetings are currently being conducted by email only. Comments on the rule can be sent to Hospital Discounted Care inbox at any point, stakeholders do not need to wait for the meeting to submit comments. Please put Public Rule Review Meeting or PRRM in the subject or body of the email when submitting comments.
The rules will be presented for final adoption at the May Medical Services Board meeting, scheduled for May 13, 2022 beginning at 9:00 a.m. Please visit the Medical Services Board website for more information on the meeting.
You can reach out to us by email to HCPF_HospDiscountCare@state.co.us for more information.
- Updates and Communications
- April 29, 2022 - Operations Manual, Decline Screening Form, Training, and Implementation Delay
- April 1, 2022 - Documents and Rates Available/Documentos y las tarifas disponibles
- March 18, 2022 - Updated Dates for Public Rule Review Meeting and Medical Services Board
- March 15, 2022 - Medical Services Board Update and FAQs Available/Las ultimas noticias de la Junta de Servicios Médicos y nueva página web de preguntas frecuentes
- February 11, 2022 - HB 21-1198, Stakeholder Meeting and Draft Rules Presentation/Ley HB 21-1198, la reunión de partes interesadas y presentación del proyecto de reglamento
- January 10, 2022 - Program Information, Implementation Plan and Stakeholder Meetings/Información sobre el programa y plan de aplicación
- December 13, 2021 - Program Information, Implementation Plan and Stakeholder Meetings