DENVER, Colo. (KRDO)-- On Monday, August 7, two new healthcare laws will go into effect in Colorado to limit the negative impacts of medical debt on patients’ credit reports or credit scores and increase the transparency of hospital community benefits.
Currently, when someone can’t afford a medical expense, the bill is sent to collections where that information is shared with consumer reporting agencies that generate consumer reports and credit scores that are used by banks, landlords, employers, and insurance and utility companies.
House Bill HB23-1126 will add medical debt to the list of information that consumer reporting agencies are not allowed to include in a credit report, as well as updates exemptions to expand consumer privacy protections, and requires collectors and collecting agencies to notify Coloradans that medical debt will no longer be included in credit reports.
Meanwhile, House Bill HB23-1243 will center on increasing the transparency of nonprofit hospitals’ community benefit spending by incorporating community feedback into the community benefit implementation plan.
The law will require each reporting hospital to seek feedback and engagement from a diverse range of community members during its annual proposed community benefit implementation plan.
The hospitals must submit a detailed report about any discussions or decisions at the annual meeting, make the report public, and execute a community benefits plan that addresses the needs of the community as discussed in the annual meeting to better understand the impact community benefit spending has on the health of Coloradans and what the greatest needs are.