Senate Bill 12-93 Hospital Disclosure of Services Not Provided
Senate Bill 12-093
Testimony to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee
Robert Semro, policy analyst
February 16, 2012
My name is Robert Semro, and I am a policy analyst with the Bell Policy Center. The Bell is a non-partisan, non-profit research and policy organization dedicated to expanding opportunity for all Coloradans.
The Bell Policy Center supports Senate Bill 12-093. The beginning and ending of this legislation is transparency. It makes no attempt to require hospitals to perform any action that violates religious directives or moral beliefs. It merely requires that hospitals disclose any health care restrictions that are based upon institutional religious directives. This information may prove critical for patients at the end of their life and the families of those patients in determining whether a particular hospital will honor their end-of-life choices.
Senate Bill 93 would do no more than guarantee that this information is disclosed. It does not advocate for any particular end-of-life decision. For those facilities that already make such disclosures, this legislation presents no new imposition or burden. For those facilities that do not, both the hospital and their patients will benefit. Patients and their families will be better positioned to make an informed decision about their care, and hospitals will avoid future tension and confrontation at the point when those decisions must be made.
This legislation may also provide another benefit. Some families or the loved one who is facing the end of life may never have confronted these decisions. They may even have made an effort to avoid them. Disclosure of institutional restrictions could very well prompt that discussion.
The Bell Policy Center believes that complete transparency serves both the hospital and the patient. We urge the committee to support Senate Bill 93, and we thank you for the opportunity to testify today.