Colorado hospitals move to highest level of statewide transfer plan for first time during pandemic
Tier 3 of Colorado Hospital Association’s transfer plan not reached during worst point of 2020
The Denver Post
With beds filling, the Colorado Hospital Association announced Wednesday that it was moving to the highest level of its plan to ease transfers between hospitals — a point not reached even during the worst of the deadly COVID-19 surge in the fall and winter of 2020.
The state’s hospitals had been operating under the first tier of their transfer plan since August, when COVID-19 cases began increasing in Colorado as the more-transmissible delta variant of the virus took over.
Tier 1 was similar to a “buddy system,” in which smaller hospitals were paired with hospital networks with more resources to coordinate transfers, said Cara Welch, spokeswoman for the Colorado Hospital Association.
On Wednesday, with statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations at their highest point of 2021, the hospital association skipped over Tier 2, which would have involved coordinating transfers on a regional level, and went straight to Tier 3, a level at which hospital leaders across Colorado will be working together, she said.
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“The need is going to be statewide,” she said. “It’s really about maximizing what’s there.”
The transfer plan, which was activated in November 2020, never got past Tier 1 last year.
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