Colorado Hospital Association Statement on Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing’s Hospital Insights Report
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COLO. – March 30, 2022 – It is unfortunate that CHA can’t fully comment on this report as the Association did not receive a prior copy. However, this report seems to pivot between thanking hospitals for all that they did while at the same time criticizing hospitals for their fiscal responsibility, including having savings that were critical to hospitals’ ability to serve Colorado communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
CHA is pleased that the state has finally recognized the importance of positive financial performance by hospitals.* What the report fails to acknowledge is that it is the very fact of Colorado hospitals’ reserves and funding that enabled such a robust COVID response: allowing hospitals to save lives, provide patient care, step up to deliver testing, vaccines, treatments, and other supports when the state asked for help. Hospitals did all that while also continuing to save Coloradans money on health care, a fact often cited by state officials.
There should be no conversation about health care affordability that does not also consider the quality and accessibility of care provided. As recently reported by the Commonwealth Fund, when considering all factors, Colorado ranked sixth best in the country, including measures of access and affordability; prevention and treatment; avoidable use and cost; healthy lives; and income disparity.
Financial reserves also allowed Colorado hospitals to staff their organizations throughout the pandemic despite shortages and significant increases in rates for staffing agencies. Colorado hospitals have also invested in a workforce that is exhausted, burned out, and questioning if they want to continue to work in health care. Hospitals’ workforce challenges will need significant financial commitment over the next several years, which Colorado hospitals have already started, to both retain current health care workers and build the workforce pipeline for the future.
Colorado hospitals’ focus remains on caring for patients with COVID and those who deferred care during the pandemic, continuing to improve health care affordability for Coloradans, supporting Colorado’s health care heroes, and providing for Colorado’s communities.
*Nearly half of Colorado hospitals have negative operating margins.
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 has served for a century 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 www.cha.com.
# # #