Colorado Hospital Association Responds to Hospital Provider Fee Enterprise Vote

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COLO. – May 10, 2017 – Steven Summer, president and CEO of Colorado Hospital Association said, “We are extremely grateful for Sens. Jerry Sonnenberg and Lucia Guzman and Reps. KC Becker and Jon Becker and to Governor John Hickenlooper for their leadership on this issue and for understanding what was at stake for rural communities and specifically for hospitals in this year’s state budget. Their ability to bridge the partisan divide and put the people of Colorado first should be a model for the future and the nation.  This is a good day for the health of all Coloradans.”

This legislation means that the Hospital Provider Fee will no longer count against the TABOR cap in the state budget and can be fully funded in order to provide hospitals the funding necessary to care for Colorado’s most vulnerable patients. By separating this money from the general fund, Colorado hospitals will have stability and reliability in funding that wasn’t possible as the state balanced its budget each year. This will allow hospitals to return to longer-term strategic planning for the health and health care in their communities. This is crucial as hospitals face uncertain times due to changes in funding for health care at the federal level.

“Colorado hospitals play a vital role in their communities, not just as care providers, but also as employers, economic contributors, community partners and more,” said Richard Hammett, president and CEO of Swedish Medical Center and chairman of the CHA Board of Trustees. “We are grateful that legislators recognized that this year and worked to continue crucial support for hospitals across the state through creation of the enterprise for the Hospital Provider Fee.”

“I applaud the bipartisan legislators from across our state who came together to pass this bill and support safety net hospitals like Children’s Hospital Colorado. This is a clear win for Colorado and for the patients and families we serve,” said Jena Hausmann, president and CEO, Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Kevin Stansbury, CEO of Lincoln Community Hospital, breathed a sigh of relief as legislators voted to protect rural hospitals. “Our hospital and community rely on the Hospital Provider Fee each year. We thank Senator Sonnenberg for his leadership in solving this issue for us. He and Senator Guzman along with Reps. KC Becker and Jon Becker really stepped up for rural hospitals, and we are grateful.”

“We applaud the passage of SB 267 as a first step to addressing our transportation needs. Leadership in both parties should be commended for putting politics aside in order to address some of the most pressing problems our state faces. We encourage this spirit of bi-partisanship and visionary leadership as lawmakers continue to work toward a comprehensive, long-term solution to our transportation needs.” — Tony Milo, Colorado Contractors Association

“Thank you to the legislators who led the charge on this bill – your work has helped to keep our rural hospitals doors’ open, and allowed our state to invest in transportation and education by fixing an accounting glitch to reflect actual revenue growth in our budget. We’re thankful for the leadership shown by our legislature and Gov. Hickenlooper to craft a solution that will allow our state to invest in some of our most critical needs – it’s a great example of how in Colorado we lead through compromise.” Kelly Brough, president and CEO, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.

“The passage of SB 267 is a good step forward for Colorado’s students and schools. With the ongoing cut to schools coming in at $828 million, this bill will give legislators the ability to invest in critical public services, especially public schools, and make a difference for all students regardless of their zip code.” Kerrie Dallman, president of the Colorado Education Association.

“Senate Bill 267 is a big step forward for areas critical to Colorado’s success – hospitals, transportation, schools and universities. This was a heavy lift and it shows what we can get done when our leaders reach across the aisle and work on issues for the good of our state.” Bruce Benson, president of the University of Colorado.

Colorado hospitals joined transportation, education and business leaders in creating a brief video thanking bill sponsors and Colorado legislators for their tireless work and perseverance in achieving significant compromise that will benefit all Coloradans. 

About the Colorado Hospital Association

The Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) is the leading voice of Colorado’s hospital and health system community. Representing more than 100 member hospitals and health systems throughout the state, CHA serves as a trusted, credible and reliable resource on health issues, hospital data and trends for its members, media, policymakers and the general public. Through CHA, Colorado’s hospitals and health systems work together in their shared commitment to improve health and health care in Colorado.

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