Post Premium: Top stories for the week of April 12-18 – The Denver Post

Dr. Korrey Klein wanted to make sure the final dose of 8,000 COVID-19 vaccines at his Fruita hospital’s last mass vaccination clinic didn’t go to waste. After some asking around, it went to a visitor at Colorado Canyons Hospital and Medical Center.

Eighty percent of patients at this small rural critical-access hospital, about 20 miles from Grand Junction and a service of the nonprofit Family Health West, are on Medicare and Medicaid. Because of COVID, the hospital lost money in 2020, said Klein, who is also the president and CEO of Family Health West. The year before, it made a 4% profit.

Already, insurance carriers don’t seem to have an incentive to negotiate better rates with rural hospitals, Klein said, because they have fewer patients. Plus, many don’t even carry their insurance products in rural areas.

But the public option bill in front of the Colorado Legislature makes Klein more worried that his hospital and other rural hospitals, which communities depend on and are already struggling, may not make it if insurance carriers shift the burden of their costs to hospitals by cutting back on reimbursements.

Full Story via Saja Hindi, The Denver Post

Colorado wants to lower health care costs. But not everyone agrees the state should get involved.

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