Hospitals urge deal at capitol

ALAMOSA — Colorado hospitals face a half billion dollar cut in this year’s state budget, yet a legislative solution is at hand. Speakers at Monday’s briefing urged legislators to reach a deal on Senate Bill 17-267 to protect hospitals across the state – especially those in rural communities that may be forced to close without this compromise.

Konnie Martin, CEO, San Luis Valley Health said, “For a hospital like ours, that operates on a lean budget, the proposed provider fee reduction would immediately threaten our ability to provide services, negatively impact our employees, and jeopardize southern Colorado’s overall regional health care system. We often hear that ‘where you live shouldn’t dictate if you live.’ But I fear that’s exactly where we are heading unless we act now to protect rural hospitals and health care.”

Steven J. Summer, president and CEO, Colorado Hospital Association (CHA), said Senate Bill 17-267 is critical to Colorado’s hospitals.

“The proposed cuts of half billion dollars in this year’s state budget threaten survival for close to a dozen hospitals and would mean staff and program reductions for nearly all of the rest,” he said. “We often say in health care that ‘time matters.’ In fact, in trauma – timely care is often known as the ‘golden hour.’ We are in the golden hour on Senate Bill 17-267. Time is of the essence now, and lives are at stake.”

Regarding Medicaid copays being added to the bill, CHA stated it was not a proponent of Medicaid copays nor unilaterally opposed to the concept.  

“We are certainly sensitive to the potential negative impacts on Colorado families.  CHA stands at the ready to provide technical assistance to the sponsors in order to move the deal forward,” Summer said.

The Colorado Hospital Association is the leading voice of Colorado’s hospital and health system community. Representing more than 100 member hospitals and health systems throughout the state, CHA serves as a trusted, credible and reliable resource on health issues, hospital data and trends for its members, media, policymakers and the general public. Through CHA, Colorado’s hospitals and health systems work together in their shared commitment to improve health and health care in Colorado. Learn more at