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Bills shining more light on free-standing ERs get signed

Author: Mark Harden - April 25, 2018 - Updated: April 25, 2018

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The free-standing emergency rooms sprouting up around Colorado can be convenient — but they also can be very expensive.

As Ed Sealover of the Denver Business Journal reports:

“Scores of patients have dropped into the facilities with non-emergency conditions, ranging from flu-like symptoms to swelling bee stings, and have left with bills that exceed $1,000 because the facilities tack on the same emergency-facility fee as ERs connected to hospitals.”

But a pair of measures that Gov. John Hickenlooper signed Wednesday aim to make operations of stand-alone ERs more transparent and their costs clearer.

One of the bills — Senate Bill 146 — requires free-standing ERs to do more to inform patients about their health care options.

Sealover reports that the bills, adopted with bipartisan support, are the culmination of five years of attempts to pass legislation addressing the rapid growth of stand-along emergency services.

Mark Harden

Mark Harden

Mark Harden is managing editor of Colorado Politics. He previously was news director at the Denver Business Journal; city editor, online news editor, state editor, national editor and popular music critic at The Denver Post; and an editor and reporter at newspapers in the Seattle area and San Francisco.