Posted inBusiness, Health, News, Politics and Government

Colorado lawmakers approved a public option for health insurance. Now the state has to figure out how to actually build it.

KEYSTONE — Colorado Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway, his face bearing the golden-retriever smile of someone who is used to getting yelled at but not taking it personally, opened the floor to comments with a suitably open-ended question: As Colorado designs a publicly backed health insurance plan, what should it look like? State lawmakers this year […]

Posted inBusiness, Health, News, Politics and Government

How much do you pay for hospital services in Colorado? Likely many times more than what Medicare does.

Across Colorado, hospitals regularly charge patients with private insurance three or four times what Medicare pays for the same services, according to a groundbreaking new study from the RAND Corp. that will likely further increase pressure on hospitals in the state to lower their prices. The RAND study looked at hospital prices in 25 states […]

Posted inHealth, News, Politics and Government

President Trump signals support for Colorado plan to import lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada

President Donald Trump told Colorado Gov. Jared Polis in a phone call Wednesday that he approves of the state’s plan to lower prescription costs by importing drugs from Canada. “The president expressed his support for the drug importation bill and his commitment to ensuring Colorado receives approval,” a spokeswoman for Polis said in a statement […]

Posted inBusiness, Health, News, Politics and Government

A state board wouldn’t approve a major report accusing Colorado hospitals of shifting costs onto people with private insurance

Hospital representatives on a little-known state Medicaid board revolted Tuesday and refused to endorse a government report that argues Colorado hospitals have reaped billions of dollars in extra revenues by ratcheting up prices on people with private insurance. The report, released in draft form last month by the state’s Department of Health Care Policy and […]

Posted inGrowth, Health, News, Politics and Government

Immigrants here illegally were waiting until near death to get dialysis. A new Colorado policy changes that.

People whose kidneys have failed typically hook up to dialysis machines three times a week, flushing fluids and toxins from their blood. It’s how they avoid heart failure and death. But for those without health insurance who are living in the country illegally, that hasn’t been an option in Colorado and most other states. Instead, […]

Posted inHealth, News, Politics and Government

As their revenues grew, Colorado hospitals pushed costs onto privately insured patients and reaped billions, according to a new state report

Colorado hospitals could have passed on savings to consumers of as much as $11.5 billion over a nine-year period if they had better contained costs and lowered their margins, according to an explosive new state report. The report seems to indicate the administration of Gov. Jared Polis will take an aggressive line against hospitals in […]

Posted inBusiness, Health, News

The world’s first marijuana-derived pharmaceutical is now available for prescription. So why can’t patients get it?

In Dr. Susan Koh’s clinic at Children’s Hospital Colorado, patients earlier this year anxiously awaited the approval of a new drug to treat two rare seizure disorders. The conditions — one called Dravet syndrome and another called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome — often take hold when kids are still in the crib. The disorders are so difficult […]

Posted inColoradans, Environment, Health, News, Politics and Government

Rural southeast Colorado loved its landfills. After a health department deal, some will finally close

Over the past few years, as the state health department told small landfill operators in southeast Colorado that it would be more closely enforcing environmental regulations — probably pushing some of them toward closure — locals pushed back with a familiar refrain: Urban rulemakers didn’t understand rural communities and burdened them with unfair expectations. “I […]

Posted inHealth, News, Politics and Government

Colorado doctor on influential state Medicaid board resigns after Sun report on pharma money

A doctor who served on a state advisory board that helps decide when Medicaid patients can be prescribed certain drugs has resigned following a Colorado Sun report that he failed to disclose thousands of dollars in payments and perks from pharmaceutical companies. In his email to state officials resigning from the Colorado Drug Utilization Review […]