#4: How Are Medical Facilities Licensed in Colorado?

If you are a consumer and you are following this blog, you may wonder which facilities  can call themselves “Urgent Care” and or “Emergency Room.”  The laws vary from state-to-state, but here’s what you need to know in Colorado.

Licensure of Urgent Care Clinics 

In the state of Colorado, the Health Facilities and Emergency Medical Services Division (HFEMSD) of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) oversees licensing of healthcare facilities.[1]

Urgent care clinics do not meet the definition of facility type under HFEMSD; therefore urgent care clinics in Colorado are not required to be licensed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and, as we mentioned in Blog Post #2, the use of the term “urgent care” is unregulated in Colorado.

Urgent care clinics are essentially regulated as a private physician’s office. Licensure comes under each individual center’s providers’ licensure, which is issued by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). Only the medical providers employed by an urgent care clinic are licensed, not the facility itself. Urgent care clinics are not held to the same regulations as FSERs, but do require their on-staff providers to be licensed for medical practice. 

Although urgent care clinics are not licensed as facilities, specific services offered by the facility may be regulated. For example, if an urgent care clinic offers laboratory testing or has a portable X-ray machine on-site, permits are required for those services.

Licensure of Free-Standing Emergency Rooms 

As mentioned above, the Health Facilities and Emergency Medical Services Division (HFEMSD) of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) oversees licensing of healthcare facilities[2]; therefore, FSERs are licensed as community clinic emergency centers (CCEC) and are one of the facility types subject to regulation.

In Colorado, FSERs must be licensed because they may be affiliated with hospitals, which are licensed and regulated.[3],

[4]Conclusion 

While this information about licensing may seem very technical, and you may not be interested, you DO have a right to know.  We hope this information will help you “know where to go” if the need arises.

 

For more in-depth information on required standards and liability insurance of licensed healthcare facilities in Colorado, see the HFEMSD Manual (2011)[5] and the CDPHE Standards for Hospitals and Health Facilities (2009).[6]

 

[1] Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. (2012). How to get licensed/certified. Retrieved from https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/HF_Licensure-Certification-Process-Flowchart.pdf Accessed February 3, 2016.

[2] Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. (2012). How to get licensed/certified. Retrieved from https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/HF_Licensure-Certification-Process-Flowchart.pdf Accessed February 3, 2016.

[3] T. Miller, personal communication, February 11, 2016.

 

[4] See 6 CCR 1001-1 Chap 9 2.101.

 

[5] Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment; Health Facilities and Emergency Medical Services Division Policy Manual. (2011). Policy-licensure. Financial responsibility compliance requirements: Health Care Availability Act; and, federal grantees (Community clinics and community clinics/emergency centers) deemed covered under the Federal Tort Claims Act). Retrieved from https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/HF_Health-Care-Availability-Act-Policy.pdf  Accessed February 5, 2016.

[6] https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/standards-hospitals-and-health-facilities