SB 298 – Colorado

Status: In Process
Year Introduced: 2023
Link: https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb23-298

Concerning allowing certain public hospitals to improve access to health care through collaboration, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. The bill permits a hospital that has fewer than 50 beds and is a county public hospital, a hospital formed by a health service district, or a hospital affiliated with either such hospital (hospital) to enter into collaborative agreements to engage in activities that may be characterized as anticompetitive or result in displacement of competition, such as agreements to provide ancillary or specialty services, joint purchasing, shared services, consulting, and collaboration efforts with payers.

The bill exempts collaborating hospitals from state antitrust laws and provides immunity from federal antitrust laws under the state action doctrine for approved collaborative activity.

Prior to entering into a collaborative agreement, the hospitals must submit the proposed collaborative agreement (proposal) to the department of health care policy and financing (department) and to the attorney general. If the department determines that the collaborative agreement will result in cost savings or other efficiencies that will improve or expand the delivery of health-care services in rural and frontier communities, the department must refer the proposal to the attorney general.

The attorney general must review each proposal that is referred by the department and determine, within a specified time, that the benefits are not outweighed by any anticompetitive harm that may result from the agreement. The department or the attorney general may request additional information concerning a proposal within 60 days after its original submission. If additional information is requested, the department and attorney general have an additional 45 days to review the proposal.

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