heather burke

Colorado Rural Health Center (CRHC) announced its strong assistance for Colorado House Bill 16-1420, the recommended legislation to create the Hospital Provider Fee Enterprise. Since its application in 2010, the Colorado Hospital Provider Fee (HPF) has actually improved and enhanced access for hundreds of thousands of Coloradans and enhanced Medicaid reimbursement rates for Colorado's healthcare facilities.

The Hospital Provider Fee, assessed on Colorado healthcare facilities, is matched dollar-for-dollar by the federal government. This funding has reduced the expense of healthcare for each Coloradan as the financing is made use of to cover the cost of unreimbursed care. In numerous rural locations of Colorado, the HPF has guaranteed economical access to health care where none formerly existed. HB 1460 would keep the HPF in location but reconstitute it as an enterprise fund, therefore securing it from the Colorado's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR) revenue cap.

The proposal to transform the HPF into an business not just permits the program to continue operating and supporting Colorado medical facilities, it omits the costs from state earnings when determining if taxpayer refunds are required each year. Producing a Hospital Provider Fee Enterprise keeps the needed financing to remain to supply access to quality health care to Coloradans throughout the state. In addition, it ensures Colorado will not have to cut critical parts of the state budget including transportation, K-12 education, higher education and increased funding for healthcare services.

Michelle Mills, CEO of CRHC stated, "Without converting the Hospital Provider Fee into an enterprise fund, we are leaving medical facilities serving rural and underserved areas without the required resources to serve their communities." Mills went on to specify, "Without the Hospital Provider Fee, 382,000 vulnerable Coloradans will lose or see a significant reduction in health coverage. This costs will make sure the long-lasting sustainability of this vital financing, and eventually support the future of health care in rural Colorado.".

CRHC Members and rural health centers in every region of the state voiced their support of the Hospital Provider Fee, including previous hospital CEO and rural health supporter John Ayoub, who kept in mind "The Colorado health center carrier cost is absolutely important to the ongoing conservation of the rural health care safety net in our great state. Individuals in rural neighborhoods are older, sicker, and less likely to have reasonable deductibles.".

Mark Francis, CEO at Family Health West in Fruita, Colorado, also voiced the value of the supplier charge in his rural health facility, keeping in mind "as a Critical Access Hospital center in a small rural setting with roots to the farming community of the Lower Valley and a high population of Medicaid, we depend upon the company fee to support both our hospital and retirement home to keep our programs progressing and for providing the very best possible take care of those that can not required afford health care or belong to call house".

The significance of the charge is also felt in Colorado's Eastern Plains. Craig Loveless, CEO at Prowers Medical Center "Here in our neighborhood, Prowers Medical Center offered care throughout 5,555 check outs in its Emergency Department in 2014, delivered 168 children, performed 650 procedures and treated 888 inpatients. The Hospital Provider Fee has actually brought more than $17.7 million to Prowers Medical Center because its creation, financing that is crucial for our day-to-day functions and helping to keep our neighborhood healthy.".

Similarly in Yuma, Colorado, the cost has permitted the medical facility to continue to be feasible in the face of current healthcare improvement. The health center provider charge has had a profound influence on the access to take care of the homeowners served by Yuma District Hospital. "With the Medicaid expansion, our Medicaid client volume double, which equated to a reduction of clients who we treated and never ever got payment for the care provided. This takes the pressure off people to raise our prices to offset the losses related to uncompensated care," stated John Gardner, CEO at Yuma District Hospital. He went on to include, "The funding acquired from the Provider Fee has actually been a vehicle to assist us enhance the quality of care that we provide to all of our clients. We have actually been able to purchase systems and personnel that can educate and coach our patients with the objective of enhancing their health status. Without this funding we would not be able to provide these programs.".

Southern Colorado, with the greatest rates of public insurance enrollment in the state, will perhaps be most influenced by a reduction in the Hospital Provider Fee. Kelly Gallegos, Administrator at Conejos County Hospital, commented about the difficulties of supplying care in the San Luis Valley, keeping in mind "We serve a very rural and economically challenged service location in Colorado. Our healthcare facility's mission is to serve all patients needing health care, no matter their capability to pay. This does not come without her latest blog its challenges, however. More than 33 % of the patients we serve have Medicaid coverage." She went on to comment about the significance of the HPF in the economically practicality of the healthcare facility and the community as a whole. "In 2009, before the company charge was put in location, our healthcare facility was getting just 54 cents on the dollar for exactly what it actually cost to provide those services". We were operating at a loss and unable to invest in new services and equipment had to protect healthcare in Conejos County. That year, the Provider Fee was established which increased health centers compensation to 72 cents on the dollar. Although we are still unremunerated for a few of the care we supply, we have actually rebounded economically and sustained access to health care for our neighborhood. We have actually also been able to stay one of the largest employers in our area and contribute positively to the regional economy.".

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