CHA Opposes the Cassidy-Graham-Heller-Johnson Bill

On behalf of more than 100 member hospitals and health systems across the state of Colorado, CHA urges legislators to oppose the Cassidy-Graham-Heller bill, as it will have a significant and harmful impact on all Coloradans as well as Colorado hospitals and the communities they serve. Because Colorado opted to expand Medicaid under the ACA, the magnitude of cuts under this legislation will be of historic proportions. Moreover, CHA is gravely concerned that initial losses will continue to grow in future years as the federal health care funding for low-income Americans continues to decrease.

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Colorado Hospital Association Elects New Officers and Board Members

The Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) added a wealth of new talent and perspectives to the CHA Board of Trustees at an election held during the Association’s 2017 Annual Meeting in Vail. Frank May, CEO, Yampa Valley Medical Center (Steamboat Springs), will serve as the 2018 Chairman of the CHA Board of Trustees. Jena Hausmann, president and CEO, Children’s Hospital (Aurora), was selected as Chairman-Elect. Kevin Unger, president and CEO of Medical Center of the Rockies (Loveland) and Poudre Valley Hospital (Fort Collins), will continue in the role of Secretary/Treasurer.

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CHA Statement on Bipartisan Governors’ Health Care Blueprint

The Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) and its member hospitals and health systems have long been committed to protecting coverage for all Coloradans. CHA is grateful to Gov. John Hickenlooper for his leadership and willingness to work in a bipartisan manner to introduce ideas to strengthen the nation’s health care insurance markets.

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CHA Statement on the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017

“Unfortunately, the draft bill released today by Senate leadership threatens to move Colorado in the wrong direction, especially for our most vulnerable patients,” said Steven J. Summer, president and CEO, CHA. “The proposal could cause deep cuts to Medicaid that covers thousands of Coloradans, including those with disabilities and many children. It will be particularly harmful to rural Colorado communities. We strongly urge Senators Bennet and Gardner to continue working on this proposal to develop legislation that will move Colorado forward – instead of setting us back – and will protect coverage for Coloradans.”

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Sheri Trahern, St. Thomas More CEO, Honored as Colorado Hospital Association Grassroots Champion

Sheri Trahern, CEO and chief administrative officer, St. Thomas More Hospital (Cañon City), was honored by the Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) with the American Hospital Association (AHA) 2017 Grassroots Champion award. Each year, AHA partners with the 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.

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Colorado Hospital Association Launches Emergency Department Opioid Safety Pilot in Eight Colorado Hospitals

Today, the Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) launched an opioid safety pilot in eight Colorado hospitals and three freestanding emergency departments (FSEDs). This initiative will be one of the largest opioid quality improvement projects in the United States. Colorado is at the center of the U.S. opioid epidemic with the 12th highest rate of misuse and abuse of prescription opioids across all 50 states. Colorado hospitals, especially the emergency departments (EDs), are in a strong position to reduce opioid administration. CHA is committed to improving the quality of care and the safety of patients in hospitals and health systems across the state.

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Colorado Hospital Association Responds to Hospital Provider Fee Enterprise Vote

Senate Bill 17-267, which just passed the Colorado General Assembly, 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.

“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,” said Steven Summer, CHA president and CEO. “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.”

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State Budget Cuts Put Colorado Hospitals at Risk

This year’s state budget legislation proposed a $528 million reduction to the Hospital Provider Fee (HPF), a fee paid by hospitals that allows the state to draw down federal matching funds for Medicaid. The HPF funds are used to support coverage for more than 480,000 Coloradans and increase reimbursements for hospitals, reducing health care costs for all Coloradans. The proposed reduction to the HPF in this year’s budget is $264 million, which doubles to $528 million with the federal match, will immediately jeopardize the future of as many as a dozen Colorado hospitals. In addition to potential closures, many hospitals in the state will have to consider layoffs, service line closures and delaying facility upgrades or service additions.

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Top GOP Pollster: Colorado Voters Broadly Support Legislation Placing Hospital Provider Fee in Enterprise Fund

A survey by one of the nation’s top Republican pollsters found broad support across Colorado, including among likely Republican voters, for legislation that would place the Hospital Provider Fee (HPF) in an enterprise fund, thereby exempting the legislation from TABOR spending limits. By a 64 percent to 28 percent margin, voters in Colorado said they believe the legislature should enact a HPF enterprise law. By a 51 percent to 39 percent margin, likely Republican voters support placing HPF in a separate fund outside of TABOR spending limits.

“Moving the HPF to a separate fund is a legislative step that will protect hospitals from losing nearly half a billion dollars in funding this year,” said Steven Summer, president and CEO, Colorado Hospital Association. “Especially in rural Colorado, hospitals serve as the lifeblood of their communities, and a cut of that magnitude would be devastating. We urge legislators to support Senate Bill 17-267, which will address this issue and protect Colorado’s rural hospitals and communities.”

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