Posted inHealth, News, Politics and Government

Class-action lawsuit alleges Colorado is failing at children’s mental health care

Colorado has lapsed on its obligation to provide mental health care for needy children, leaving them to cycle in and out of emergency rooms instead of receiving appropriate long-term care, according to a federal class-action lawsuit filed against the state Medicaid program.  The lawsuit so far includes three anonymous plaintiffs, all teenagers who have for […]

Posted inCOVID, Health, News, Politics and Government

Despite fears, Colorado’s biggest hospitals made money during the pandemic

When the coronavirus shut down Colorado last spring, fears mounted that the state’s hospitals were about to get hammered financially. In rapidly shifting to focus on caring for sick COVID-19 patients, hospitals paused lucrative elective procedures. Patients skipped usual visits. Hospitals pumped money into buying protective equipment and turning floors into coronavirus units. Estimates for […]

Posted inHealth, News

A $500 million Medicaid boost gives Colorado a chance to re-do its disability services

Nancy Bach, 63, can handle most of the daily tasks for her 36-year-old niece, Elizabeth, who has developmental disabilities. But Bach’s hands shake with persistent tremors, making it impossible to fill the pillboxes that sort her niece’s complicated array of prescriptions. The two of them need help, and good help is hard to find.  When […]

Posted inBusiness, Health, News

Colorado will pay hospitals to close expensive free-standing ERs

By Phil Galewitz, KHN Colorado health officials so abhor the high costs associated with free-standing emergency rooms they’re offering to pay hospitals to shut the facilities down. The state wants hospitals to convert them to other purposes, such as providing primary care or mental health services. At least 500 free-standing ERs have set up in more […]

Posted inHealth, News, Politics and Government

New Colorado health insurance subsidies open as search for people eligible but not enrolled ramps up

The number of Coloradans eligible for public health insurance aid but not actually enrolled in a program was rising quickly before the pandemic hit last year, though social service officials said expanded eligibility launching Thursday could help reverse the trend.  The American Rescue Plan signed in March keeps enrollment in the state health insurance exchange […]

Posted inHealth, News, Politics and Government

Colorado already allows prescription drug imports from Canada. Lawmakers want to open it up to more countries.

By Patty Niebert, The Associated Press/Report for America Colorado lawmakers are considering a bill to add more countries to a state program that imports prescription drugs from Canada. The state House Health and Insurance committee passed a bill Wednesday that would expand the program if the federal program is also increased. In 2020, under former […]

Posted inBusiness, Coloradans, COVID, Health, News

Too many empty beds at Colorado nursing homes leave the industry in financial distress

State health officials are worried about the future of a handful of Colorado nursing homes with “severe financial concerns” after a bruising pandemic year that resulted in too many empty beds.  Two major nursing home operators, meanwhile, are making plans to back out of Colorado or at least decrease operations after occupancy has been reduced […]

Posted inBusiness, Health, News, Politics and Government

Colorado hospitals’ profit margins are nation’s highest as state lawmakers move to cap health care costs

Colorado hospitals charge more, have higher costs and still report higher profit margins than any other state, according to a financial analysis of federal data presented Wednesday to the Colorado Business Group on Health.  Both for-profit and nonprofit hospitals in Colorado have made “strategic decisions to maximize revenue and profit,” in large part by consolidating […]

Posted inBusiness, Health, News, Politics and Government

Colorado takes a step toward importing drugs from Canada, but the start date is still two years away

If you develop osteoporosis, your doctor might prescribe for you a drug called teriparatide, which is sold by the drugmaker Eli Lilly under the brand name Forteo. In the pharmaceutical industry, Forteo, which helps rebuild bone, is what is known as a blockbuster — a massive, reliable seller that brings in billions of dollars for […]