Kevin Downey, Colorado Hospital Association
(720) 330-6019
kevin.downey@cha.com

CHA Statement on Office of Inspector General Report on Critical Access Hospitals

Date Aug. 19, 2013

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COLO. (Aug. 19, 2013) — Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) President and Chief Executive Officer Steven J. Summer made the following statement regarding a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) released on Aug. 15, 2013. The OIG report focused on the certification of critical access hospitals (CAHs) and made recommendations to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that the OIG believes will decrease Medicare and Medicaid spending.
 
“Implementing the recommendations of the OIG report would absolutely devastate health care access and services in many rural parts of Colorado,” Summer said. “The OIG clearly does not comprehend how health care is actually delivered in some of the country’s most sparsely populated communities. The report’s assumptions regarding geography are outrageously generalized, and display little real-world understanding of states like Colorado and the challenges many of our citizens face in terms of accessing essential health care. I urge CMS to take these recommendations with a significant grain of salt.”
 
Research shows that CAHs care for nearly one in five Americans, or seven million emergency department and 38 million additional outpatient visits annually. The federal CAH program reportedly accounts for less than five percent of total Medicare spending in U.S. hospitals, and such hospitals consistently deliver less expensive care than urban facilities and providers.

About the Colorado Hospital Association
The Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) represents 100 member hospitals and health systems throughout Colorado. CHA partners with its members to work towards health reform and performance improvement, and provides advocacy and representation at the state and federal level. Colorado hospitals and health systems are committed to providing coverage and access to safe, high-quality and affordable health care. In addition, Colorado hospitals have a tremendous impact on the state’s economic stability and growth, contributing to nearly every community across the state with 72,000 employees statewide.