Charging that new facility standards and rules for “off-campus licensure” are onerous, without tangible consumer benefit and were developed without proper notice and opportunity for input, the Colorado Hospital Association and seven hospitals and health systems have filed a lawsuit against the Colorado Public Health Department and Environment.
Colo. Hospital Association sues over new state rules
The lawsuit seeks to have the department’s actions declared unlawful and the new rules set aside and have preliminary and permanent injunctions issued against enforcing the new rules which the 87 hospital-member CHA described as “unprecedented, oppressive and unwarranted.”
The lawsuit also noted that a cost-benefit analysis of the new rules was not conducted and, if one had been, it would have “plainly confirmed that the proposed amendments were overbroad, would have harsh economic consequences without countervailing justification” and would adversely affect the state’s hospitals and patients.
The rules in question are part of the state’s new Standards for Hospitals and Health Facilities, and are contained in chapters on general licensure and standards for hospital and healthcare facilities.
The new rules were set to take effect May 1, but—according to a CHA news release—“the department indicated in writing a willingness to postpone enforcement of the most problematic provisions for 90 days.”
The department was closed on Friday for an employee furlough day and a representative was not available for comment. A spokesperson for Gov. Bill Ritter could not be reached for comment.
Other plaintiffs listed in the suit are: HCA-HealthONE; Centura Health Corp.; the Children’s Hospital Association; Valley Citizens’ Foundation for Health Care doing business as Rio Grande Hospital; Yuma District Hospital; Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center; and University of Colorado Hospital.
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