5 Questions You Should Be Asking About the Hospital Provider Fee (Plus Answers!)

5 Questions You Should Be Asking About the Hospital Provider Fee (Plus Answers!)

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A hot topic at the Colorado Capitol this legislative session is the much-debated Hospital Provider Fee.  While this term may be new to some, many of you have been interacting with the fee since its creation in 2009.The Hospital Provider Fee, assessed on Colorado hospitals, is matched dollar-for-dollar by the Federal Government. This funding has lowered the cost of healthcare for every Coloradan as the funding is used to cover the cost of unreimbursed care. In many rural areas of Colorado, the HPF has ensured affordable access to healthcare where none previously existed.

This topic has been highly politicized in the past few months by interests on either side of the aisle. But no matter what side of the aisle you’re on, healthcare issues affect us all.  Based on input and support from our Policy and Legislative Committee and approval from our Board of Directors, CRHC has come out in strong support of the HPF’s conversion to an enterprise fund.  You can view our official press release announcing support for the conversion here.

CRHC’s role at the Capitol is to represent our members, the facilities they maintain, and the communities they support.  That’s why we want to provide our members with a toolkit for understanding, discussing and advocating for the Hospital Provider Fee Conversion.

What is the Hospital Provider Fee? What does it mean and how does it work?

This short informational video provided by the Denver Post is your first step in understanding the basic mechanics of the provider fee.   A more in-depth written description of the fee and its history can be found here.

How does the Hospital Provider affect my facility? What would a reduction in the fee mean for the financial viability of my facility?

This short informational video provided by the Denver Post is your first step in understanding the basic mechanics of the provider fee.   A more in-depth written description of the fee and its history can be found here.

There has been a lot of political discussion about the constitutionality of the bill; is the conversion legal?

Many politically-charged conversations about the constitutionality of the HPF conversion have been swirling around the media over recent months.  In the last month though, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman recently released her formal opinion on the issue and argued that the program would meet requirements to qualify as an enterprise fund.  This opinion opens the door for legislative measures to address the fee.

What are other rural Coloradans saying about this?

In short, plenty!  Here are a few editorials featuring rural health providers and advocates from around the state.

How can I help?

You can start by adding your name or facility to the long list of supporters at www.fixtheglitch.org. You can also reach out to your elected officials, via a phone call, letter, or even an op-ed written in your local newspaper. Remember, CRHC is here to help you with any of these items — all you have to do is ask!  We can help you draft letters and op-eds, facilitate meetings with your elected officials, or just to learn more about a policy or topic.  Contact our Policy Coordinator Kelly Erb for any support.

Much is happening in healthcare. Check out my monthly CEO update for the latest in rural healthcare.