(1) The general assembly hereby recognizes that, through the sunset review for the division of insurance within the department of regulatory agencies in October 2001, the general assembly adopted a recommendation to consolidate and relocate the regulatory functions concerning health care cooperatives. The provisions of parts 1, 2, and 4 of article 18 of title 6, C.R.S., were, therefore, repealed and relocated to this part 10.
(2) The general assembly hereby finds that:
(a) Under the current health care system in this state, individuals risk losing their health care coverage when they move, when they lose or change jobs, when they become seriously ill, or when coverage becomes unaffordable;
(b) Continued escalation of health care costs threatens the continued economic vitality of the state; and
(c) Health care is a critical part of the economy of this state, representing a significant percentage of public and private spending, and affects all industries and individuals in this state.
(3) The general assembly hereby determines that:
(a) Comprehensive health care benefits that meet the full range of health needs, including primary, preventive, and specialized care, should be readily available to citizens of this state;
(b) The current high quality of health care in this state should be maintained;
(c) Employers and their employees in this state should be afforded a meaningful opportunity to choose from a range of health plans, health care providers, and treatments;
(d) Competition in the health care industry should ensure that health plans and health care providers are efficient and charge reasonable prices;
(e) All individuals should have a responsibility to pay their fair share of the costs of health care coverage; and
(f) Colorado's health care system should build on the strength of the employment-based coverage arrangements that now exist in this state.
(4) The general assembly, therefore, declares that the purposes of this part 10 are to:
(a) Promote control of the cost of health care for employers, employees, and others who pay for health care coverage by pooling purchasing power among consumers and organizing providers so that health care services are delivered in the most efficient manner;
(b) Allow health care cooperatives established under this part 10 flexibility in the determination of plans and coverages they provide to members and the selection of health provider networks, plans, and providers with which they contract for services;
(c) Promote individual choice among health plans and health care providers;
(d) Ensure high quality health care; and
(e) Encourage all individuals to take responsibility for their health care coverage by building on existing employment-based arrangements for health care benefits.
(5) The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that the rapidly changing health care market provides unique opportunities for health care providers to organize themselves into new forms of collaborative systems to deliver high quality health care at competitive market prices to cooperatives and other purchasers. This part 10 is enacted to encourage such collaborative arrangements and to promote market-based competition among health care providers.
(6) The general assembly further recognizes that, in order to achieve the most effective use of resources and medical technology to respond to changing market conditions, providers who would otherwise be competitors with each other will need to horizontally integrate in order to develop collaborative arrangements to guarantee an adequate number of providers to service the market and to vertically integrate in order to guarantee that those who receive services will have a continuum of care as appropriate to their care needs.
(7) The general assembly also recognizes that to effect such new forms of collaborative systems and integration of providers to service the market will require an analysis of:
(a) Existing methods of providing services, contracting, collaborating, and networking among providers; and
(b) The extent and type of regulatory oversight of licensed provider networks or licensed individual providers that is appropriate to protect the public.
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