Colorado Governor Signs Bill Protecting Patients’ Rights

June 4, 2008

Coloradoans need not worry that their health care will be compromised by hospital mergers, thanks to a bill signed into law recently by Gov. Bill Ritter.

The bill clarifies the Colorado attorney general’s authority to include conducting hearings and reviewing proposed mergers for negative impacts to patient care.

The legislation comes in light of a pending deal between the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System, a Catholic entity, and the nonsectarian Exempla Healthcare System.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers declined to prohibit the transaction on the grounds that he had no legal basis. Opponents of the deal complained it would force patients to seek hospitals outside Jefferson County for certain reproductive and end-of-life treatment.

In a letter of support to Roland Halpern, Director of Community Relations for Compassion & Choices, Gov. Ritter emphasized his belief in upholding patient-directed health care.

“I agree that diminution of access to health care is a serious concern, and we must do all we can to protect Coloradans’ ability to receive the care they need, when they need it,” he wrote. “I signed HB 08-1203 because it requires the Attorney General to consider a given hospital transaction’s potential to affect the availability and accessibility of health care services in relevant communities.”
Read Gov. Ritter’s letter
Send a thank-you letter to Gov. Ritter

Compassion & Choices
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