Colorado hospital provider fee passes state legislature |

Colorado hospital provider fee passes state legislature

Senate Bill 17-267, which among other items prevented massive cuts to hospital revenues statewide, passed the Colorado General Assembly Wednesday on the last day of the legislative session, winning approval in the House by a 49-16 vote.

The “Sustainability of Rural Colorado” bill addresses everything from small school and infrastructural funding to future state budget rollbacks. It’s primary charge, though, was ensuring a system to charge medical providers a fee on earnings launched in 2010 was overhauled so those dollars no longer count against Colorado’s revenue cap and require a refund to citizens based on the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Had the measure not passed, rural hospitals stood to take the biggest hit. St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco was preparing for nearly $1 million in losses, which in turn would lead to reduction in some services. Kremming Memorial Hospital in Grand County faced similar decreases and St. Vincent General in Leadville was staring down about a $550,000 drop-off. At least a dozen other rural hospitals threatened the bill’s defeat would force them to close.

The bill next goes to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk to be signed into law.

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