Newborn Baby Sleeping In Hospital Bassinet

Colorado's House has passed legislation to require hospitals to provide annual reports on their spending and their uncompensated patient care costs.

Democratic Rep. Chris Kennedy's House Bill 1001 is designed to allow state officials to study why privately insured individuals are paying more for care while the state and federal governments are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to support hospitals, especially in rural areas.

Kennedy says hospital care comprises about 40 percent of total health care costs in Colorado. His bill directs the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to compile the annual transparency report.

John Batholomew, the department's chief financial officer, testified at a bill hearing that in 2017, Colorado's hospital prices were 23 percent above the national average.

Thursday's House vote sends the bill to the Senate.

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