Smallwood Medical Transparency Measure Clears Senate

DENVER – Coloradans who visit freestanding emergency rooms soon will have a lot more up-front information about what they’re getting into, if a Jim Smallwood (R-Parker) bill that passed the Senate on a 33-2 vote enjoys similarly bipartisan success in the House.

Smallwood’s Senate Bill-146 improves medical transparency by requiring freestanding emergency rooms to better inform patients about the difference between an emergency room and an urgent care facility, the costs of procedures and what insurance coverage they accept.

“This bill allows patients to know what kind of facilities they have entered,” Senator Jim Smallwood (R-Parker) said. “It will also provide disclosure to them on if the facility is part of their insurance plan and what these charges will be.”

Smallwood and his Republican colleagues have backed a number of medical transparency measures in recent sessions, based on a belief that greater awareness will empower medical consumers to make informed choices and bring more market forces into play.

The bill will now moves to the Colorado House of Representatives for consideration.

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