Earlier this month, NAFEC board members traveled to Colorado to testify in opposition to HB 16-1374 before the Senate Health, Insurance and Environment Committee.
In its current state, HB 16-1374 requires freestanding emergency rooms to post notices throughout the facility indicating that the facility is an emergency room and provides emergency services to treat emergency medical conditions. In addition, the bill would require freestanding emergency rooms to inform a patient after they’ve had their initial medical examination of the following:
- The patient is at a freestanding emergency room, which will charge at emergency room rates;
- The physician providing medical care could bill the patient separately from the center; and
- For non-emergency medical conditions, the patient may wish to confer with his or her primary care physician or other primary care provider.
As an organization that represents the spectrum of freestanding emergency rooms, NAFEC supports transparency, protecting consumers, and delivering healthcare in an efficient way. However, House Bill 16-1347 has unintended consequences that unfairly disadvantage independent FECs. For this reason NAFEC does not support the bill in its current form, but we are hopeful that the bill can be amended to achieve it’s underlying objective of protecting consumers without creating an unleveled playing field.
NAFEC will continue to monitor this bill and provide updates on any amendments made as they become available.