Bryan Cohen Nov. 26, 2013, 7:15pm

HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) -- Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said Tuesday he sent letters to state hospitals last week seeking information on facility fee disclosures and provider acquisitions.

The letters seek broad information about the hospitals' acquisition of urgent care centers, free-standing ambulatory surgical centers and independent physician practices.

Jepsen requested detailed descriptions of the acquisitions' disclosure of hospital affiliation and any facility fees they charge to patients seeking care.

The attorney general's letters ask that all hospitals provide his office with the name, address and specialty type of all affiliated providers by Dec. 6.

"In order to understand the full scope of the issues surrounding practice acquisition and facility fees, I am urging Connecticut's hospitals to cooperate with this request for information," Jepsen said in a statement.

"Last month, I invited patients to be a part of this conversation by filing complaints with my office, and today I urge the state's hospitals to contribute to this conversation as well."

He continued, "This information will assist me in crafting legislative proposals to ensure meaningful transparency for consumers concerning facility fees. More broadly, it will assist me in monitoring and protecting competition in the fast-evolving health care market."

In September, Jepsen said he intended to seek legislation that would require greater disclosure of hospital facility fees, which are included as an independent component of outpatient care fees.

There is growing concern that entities acquired by hospitals may not clearly disclose their hospital affiliation or the fact that they will charge a separate facility fee. The fees are charged in addition to the professional charges billed by the provider.

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