Salazar: Federal cuts will hurt Colorado hospitals
Vail, CO Colorado
DENVER, Colorado – Proposed federal cuts could cost Colorado hospitals $150 million a year and end preventive care for uninsured patients, Sen. Ken Salazar and health-care officials said Tuesday.
“We have a huge issue that is facing health care in Colorado that requires the urgent attention of our president and Congress,” Salazar said. “My hope is we are able to fight back.”
Salazar, D-Colorado, discussed the cuts with Colorado Hospital Association and hospital officials.
He said new rules proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and supported by President Bush would cut nearly $5 billion from the federal portion of the Medicaid program over the next five years.
Salazar said the rules would have “a significant and immediate impact” on Colorado, hurting 25 “safety net” hospitals for low-income patients.
Hardest hit would be Denver Health, which would lose $81 million a year, and the University of Colorado Hospital, which would lose $40 million. The University of Colorado said the hospital would be forced to stop providing any non-emergency care for uninsured patients.
Other states have responded by forming quasi-governmental agencies to get around the new rules, but Salazar said the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights makes that all but impossible in Colorado.
Steven Summers, president of the hospital association, said the change puts the state’s most vulnerable citizens ” women and children ” at risk.
“There is no doubt it would have a drastic impact,” Summers said.
Patricia Gabow, chief of the Denver Health and Hospital Authority, said her hospital would be forced to cut back on preventive medicine and focus on emergency treatment, which will raise health care costs.
“You do the opposite of trying to prevent the need for health care,” she said.
List of hospitals hurt by Medicaid shortfall
Sen. Ken Salazar says several Colorado hospitals could be hurt by proposed federal spending cuts. The hospitals, and the annual federal funding they would lose:
Denver Health, Denver, $81 million
University of Colorado Health System, Aurora, $40 million
The Children’s Hospital, Aurora, $420,000
Memorial Hospital, Colorado Springs, $9.7 million
Banner Health North Colorado Medical Center, Greeley, $3.6 million
Poudre Valley Hospital, Fort Collins, $2.2 million
Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center, La Junta, $1.4 million
San Luis Valley Medical Center, Alamosa, $1 million
Montrose Memorial Hospital, Montrose, $532,000
St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center, Pueblo, $176,000
Columbia/HealthOne Rose Medical Center, Denver $156,000
Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital, Denver, $152,000
St. Mary’s Hospital and Medical Center Inc., Grand Junction, $151,000
Columbia/HealthOne Swedish Medical Center, Englewood, $140,000
Centura Health Saint Anthony North Hospital, Westminster, $135,000
Banner Health East Morgan County Hospital, Brush, $50,000
Centura Health Saint Anthony Central Hospital, Denver, $49,000
Columbia/HealthOne Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center, Denver, $44,000
Gunnison Valley Hospital, Gunnison, $18,000
National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, $2,900
Centura Health Penrose St. Francis Health Services, Colorado Springs -$2,200
Columbia/HealthOne North Suburban Medical Center, Thornton, $1,900
Craig Rehabilitative Hospital, Englewood, $1,600
Southwest Memorial Hospital, Cortez, $200
Columbia/HealthOne Medical Center of Aurora, Aurora, $300
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