Colorado is considering legislation that would require freestanding emergency rooms to post notices throughout the building alerting patients that they have stepped into an emergency room, where they will be afforded emergency care for emergent medical conditions (and pay emergency-level charges). The bill was inspired by complaints from consumers who have mistakenly sought care in freestanding ERs, thinking they had gone to an urgent care center—where costs are lower and more likely to be covered by insurance. If the bill passes as currently constructed, the freestanding ER signage would have to note that the facility’s rates are comparable to a hospital ED; that it may not participate in the patient’s insurance plan; that the provider may bill the patient separately; and that the patient might want to consult with a primary care physician for nonemergent complaints.

Colorado Bill Would Force Freestanding ERs to Be More Open on Costs
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