Roadmap for Colorado Healthcare Solutions
Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera recently presented a ‘roadmap’ to reducing health care costs in Colorado at the State of Reform Health Policy Conference. The ‘roadmap’ is a two-tiered list of action steps that are connected to specific policy items and outcome goals. One tier focuses on the short-term efforts while the other is more focused on mid-term and long-term efforts.
The strategy utilizes several legislative and community-based approaches to attack problems from different angles. One major issue facing communities in Colorado is the cost of health insurance coverage. The short-term focus is lowering the cost of health insurance and out-of-pocket costs. The long-term focus shifts to preventive care, expanding access and helping providers to use data more effectively. The combination hopes to ensure Coloradans get the care they need, when and where they need it.
Innovative Summit County Based Company
The Senate Bill highlights an innovative approach the residents of Summit County have already started taking advantage of. The Summit County based company, Peak Health Alliance illustrates the benefits of a community-based solution. By promoting a collective bargaining power of self-insured employers and their employees, they have evidenced success in driving costs down, with both providers and insurers.
In March of 2019, Peak negotiated a contract to make Centura Health, owner of St. Anthony’s Summit Medical Center, the alliance’s premier health care service provider. Peak Health Alliance is additionally working on other contracts based on negotiated health care fees to what is reasonable for the average Summit resident.
Peak Health Alliance is a pilot program that will serve as a model for other resort communities in Colorado. After it goes live next year, Peak Health Alliance will be recognized as the Colorado’s first community-based health care collaboration.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera have thrown in their support behind SB 19-004. This bill intends to clean up language in existing state laws to allow community-based companies like Peak Health Alliance to operate unhindered.
Peak Health Alliance will go live in 2020. In the meantime, the SB 19-004 will get a hearing in the state legislature in April 2019. With a relatively healthy population and a history of successful innovation in health care, Colorado is already a leader in health care with a foundation built for future success.