Colorado Hospital Association and its member hospitals and health systems are disappointed that Kaiser Permanente Colorado shifted blame to Colorado hospitals instead of taking any responsibility for its recent business decisions in light of its projected $65 million loss. By its own admission, Kaiser’s hospital expenses have increased a modest 2.7 percent annually in recent years, while Kaiser premiums in the individual market have increased more than 70 percent since 2014.
“In recent years, Colorado has made great strides in improving coverage and access to care for all Coloradans,” Steven J. Summer, CHA president and CEO, said. “With a record low uninsured rate, we are beginning to see the system work as it should – with people accessing preventive and primary care and not just relying on the hospital emergency department for care when medical conditions become emergent. Anything that sets us back from that progress – which we believe this proposal has the potential to do – should be reconsidered.”
Colorado Hospital Association Awarded Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant to Expand Patient and Family Engagement Work in Colorado Hospitals
CHA was recently awarded the Building Trust and Mutual Respect to Improve Health Care grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The grant monies will be used to analyze whether hospital-based patient family engagement (PFE) programs increase the trust and communication climate among patients, providers and staff of rural and critical access hospitals. The study will also help by identifying the effectiveness of a variety of strategies.
CHA has received national recognition for outstanding performance in driving quality care, safety and value across its network of hospitals. The HRET HIIN Quality Award honors outstanding achievement in creating a culture of patient safety, delivering value and executing evidence-based practices as part of day-to-day operations. CHA has 50 Colorado hospitals participating in the Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN) initiative, which focuses on reducing patient harm through a number of patient safety and quality improvement efforts. The Association was also recognized for its effort to reduce opioid administrations in hospital emergency departments through the Colorado ALTO Project.
Jason Cleckler, CEO of Delta County Memorial Hospital received the American Hospital Association (AHA) 2018 Grassroots Champion award at the recent Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) CEO Forum in Vail on July 12, 2018. Each year, AHA partners with state hospital associations to recognize the achievements of grassroots leaders who effectively deliver the hospital message to elected officials; help broaden the base of community support for hospitals; and advocate tirelessly on behalf of patients, hospitals and communities.
Colorado Hospital Association and its member hospitals and health systems would like to thank Senators Cheri Jahn and Kevin Priola and Representative Brittany Pettersen, for their leadership in sponsoring House Bill 18-1136. This landmark legislation, which passed the Senate unanimously on third reading this morning will close a gap in coverage for Coloradans long-struggling with substance abuse disorders. As a result, individuals insured by Medicaid will have consistent coverage of physical and behavioral health conditions for the first time.
CHA has announced the release of the Colorado Hospital Price Report, recently updated to offer health care consumers a wide selection of data from Colorado hospitals on a user-friendly platform. CHA believes that all health care consumers should have access to meaningful information pertaining to their chosen health care facilities. The available data provides consumers useful, up-to-date information regarding price and quality outcomes when they are making important decisions about where to go for their health care.
“We applaud the focus on continuing to improve health outcomes as is often included in value-based payments models, but believe that to create a truly affordable health care model, the total cost of care must be managed.” said Steven Summer, CHA president and CEO. “The Association believes that to be truly successful, the blueprint will need to ensure its scope on payment reform includes state, federal and private sector payers and needs to include all components of health care.”
CHA released results of the Colorado Opioid Safety Pilot. Beginning in June 2017, CHA and its member hospitals conducted a six-month pilot in eight Colorado hospital emergency departments (EDs) and two freestanding emergency departments (FSEDs) with the goal of reducing the administration of opioids by ED clinicians. This initiative, one of the largest opioid research efforts in the United States, used treatment guidelines developed by the Colorado Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (Colorado ACEP) that recommend the use of alternatives to opioids (ALTOs) as a first-line treatment for pain rather than opioids.
All participating members successfully implemented the pilot, which returned remarkable results. The EDs achieved a 36 percent reduction in opioid administrations when compared to the same time period in 2016, far surpassing the original pilot goal of a 15 percent reduction. This amounted to a projection of 35,000 fewer individual opioid administrations between the 2017 pilot and the 2016 baseline period.
The Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) recently announced the promotions of two members of the executive team, effective Jan. 1. Chris Tholen has been promoted to Executive Vice President, and Katherine Mulready has been promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer. Both Tholen and Mulready come from distinguished backgrounds in the healthcare community and were instrumental in last year’s passing of a bill which has been called “Colorado’s most significant piece of legislation in the past 10 years”.
Colorado Hospital Association Partners with Colorado Office of Behavioral Health to Promote Opioid Safety Initiatives
CHA is pleased to announce that it received a $650,000 contract from the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) as part of a two-year OBH Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant. CHA will provide resources and expertise to support OBH efforts in rural and urban hospitals and health care facilities as part of a multi-year Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) pilot that combines behavioral therapy and medication to treat opioid use disorder. The MAT pilot results will be used to develop strategies for broader implementation. The Association will also partner with OBH to provide statewide education programs as OBH and the State of Colorado expand their efforts to combat the opioid crisis.
Lutheran Medical Center’s Clostridium Difficile (C. diff) Prevention Team was honored with the 2017 Michael J. Skolnik Award for Patient Safety at the Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) Patient Safety Leadership Conference. The team’s work focused on education and awareness to obtain a greater than 50 percent reduction in C. diff cases at its facility. The multidisciplinary team at Lutheran Medical Center, with senior level executive sponsorship, developed protocols that were shared throughout the hospital system. The team also leveraged the hospital’s participation in the CHA Antimicrobial Stewardship initiative, which focused on the proper prescribing of antibiotics to reduce the incidence of health-care-associated infections like C. diff.