Have you heard? The Hospital Provider Fee (HPF), which is a method for reimbursement for hospitals, was part of an approved bill in the Colorado State Legislature on May 10, 2017, which officially will move it into a separate enterprise fund. Why is this a big deal? This legislation means that the HPF will no longer count against that TABOR cap in the state budget and can be fully funded in order to receive the full federal match and provide hospitals the necessary funding to care for Colorado’s most vulnerable patients. Who made this happen? After a proposal died in committee a year ago, leaders from the Colorado Hospital Association worked with key hospital leaders and elected officials. Konnie Martin, SLV Health CEO, was asked to testify numerous times and advocated tirelessly with elected officials and their staff, lobbyists, reporters and the staff at the Colorado Hospital Association. She became a champion of the cause, explaining to numerous economic development and other business leaders the importance of this funding source to rural hospitals. Two legislators, Colorado Senators Jerry Sonnenberg and Lucia Guzman, co-authored the bill, SB 17-267, which garnered bipartisan support and also addressed funding needs to education and transportation, is now waiting for Governor Hickenlooper to sign. At one time, a reporter retweeted Konnie’s statement, “Where we live in this state should not determine if we live.” What next? 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.
Click here for Valley Courier’s Jefferson Geiger’s recap.
Governor John Hickenlooper considers the session “the most productive” since he took office in 2011.