Colorado legislative session heats up

With less than a month left in the 2019 Colorado legislative session, bill activity under the dome is speeding up and will reach a furious pace before sine die on May 3. The physician volunteers who comprise the Council on Legislation – including PCMS representative Terry Lakin, DO, MPH – as well as the CMS Board of Directors track legislation that affects Colorado physicians and our patients.

Here are the top three bills for physicians to watch. 

  • SB 19-234: Sunset Professional Review Committees. This critical bill reenacts professional review protections for physicians. Plaintiff attorneys have been forcefully critical of the current professional review reporting requirements and are seeking access to professional review information in civil litigation. CMS is very aware that physician members are extremely concerned about the idea of the professional review system being opened to discovery. A recent CMS-commissioned survey of physicians shows that members overwhelmingly agree that it is important to protect professional review documentation from being discoverable in lawsuits.
  • SB 19-134 and HB 19-1174: Out-of-network Health Care Disclosures and Charges. Addressing the problem of surprise medical bills continues to be a priority issue at the legislature. Currently there are two competing bills to fix this issue and on April 4 CMS conveyed its strong support of a significant rewrite to Senate Bill 19-134 at a hearing of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. CMS believes that the senate bill provides a better fix to surprise bills than the other piece of legislation, House Bill 19-1174. Pueblo’s Rep. Daneya Esgar is one of the sponsors of HB 19-1174.
  • HB 19-1211: Prior Authorization Requirements Health Care Service. This bill, strongly supported by CMS, would streamline the overall process of prior authorization. It was approved by the House and now heads to the Senate. The bill would promote safe, timely and affordable access to evidence-based care for patients; enhance efficiency; increase transparency; and reduce the variations among payers and utilization management organizations.

I urge you to watch your email for “Code Blue” legislative alerts and respond promptly when needed. I thank you for your involvement.