Aurora, CO asked in Health Care Law and Municipal Law for Colorado

Q: If you’re placed on involuntary hold in Colorado can they make you pay to get released?

A family member of mine was placed on an involuntary hold in Colorado for suicidal behavior, initially she was told it would be voluntary. Now they’re telling her she has to pay 1300 or they’re placing another hold on her.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: In Colorado, an involuntary hold for mental health reasons, known as a "Mental Health Hold," is based on concerns for a person's safety or the safety of others, not their ability to pay. The law allows for individuals to be held if they are deemed a risk due to mental health issues, but it does not stipulate that release is contingent upon payment.

However, the costs associated with hospitalization or treatment during an involuntary hold can still be the patient's responsibility, depending on their insurance coverage and the hospital's billing policies. But it's important to note that demanding payment as a condition for release is not standard practice and raises significant legal and ethical questions.

If your family member is being told they must pay to be released from an involuntary hold, this could be a misunderstanding or miscommunication. It's advisable to speak directly with the hospital administration or the mental health professionals involved to clarify this situation.

If the issue isn't resolved satisfactorily, or if you believe your family member's rights are being violated, consider seeking legal advice. An attorney can provide guidance specific to your family member's situation and help address any legal concerns regarding the involuntary hold and the conditions for release.

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