Colorado Hospital Association Statement on CIVHC Reference-Based Pricing Regional Information

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COLO. – Sept. 6, 2019 – In response to the recent data release by the Center for Improving Value in Health Care (CIVHC) on regional price information as a percent of Medicare, Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) issued this statement:

“Colorado hospitals recognize that health care affordability has reached a crisis point for many Coloradans, and they are committed to being part of the solution,” said Steven J. Summer, CHA president and CEO. “This data analysis by region provides an interesting look at some of the trends across the state, and we believe it may be helpful as hospitals and other community partners – including employers, payers and other providers – look for ways to voluntarily collaborate and improve health care affordability for their communities.

“With that said, we do have concerns about the continued use of Medicare as a benchmark for setting hospital payment rates. It has been well documented that Medicare payments fall far short from covering the cost of care – reimbursing just 69 cents of every dollar hospitals must spend to provide care to patients in Colorado. A recent report by the federal Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) noted that only 9 percent of hospitals would survive if other payers adopted Medicare rates. In other words – 91 percent of hospitals would go bankrupt if Medicare is used as the payment standard. This would devastate any health care community, including many in Colorado, which have made great strides in recent years to improve access and coverage.

“To meaningfully and sustainably improve health care affordability for all Coloradans, all stakeholders must join together to work toward a shared goal.”

About Colorado Hospital Association

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. Learn more at

# # #