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Colorado offers to pay hospitals to close free-standing ERs

Exchange Free Standing Emergency Rooms
Posted at 6:52 PM, May 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 20:52:13-04

Colorado health officials are so concerned about the high costs associated with free-standing emergency rooms, they're offering to pay hospitals to shut down their free-standing emergency rooms.

Kaiser Health News reports that the hope was that these stand-alone facilities would fill a need for ER care when no hospital was nearby and reduce congestion at hospital ERs.

But instead, they have generally opened in suburban communities, often near hospitals, and have largely treated patients who didn't need emergency care.

The Colorado Hospital Association says hospitals have converted some of these facilities to provide services such as urgent care in response to changes in insurance reimbursement and other factors.