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2007 Summer Marillac Clinic Director's Corner

Your input will shape the future of health care in Colorado...by Steve Hurd, Executive Director (Reprinted from the Winter 2008 issue of Marillac's Newsletter)

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A Little Background

Last year, the Colorado State Legislature approved SB 06-208. This legislation established the Blue Ribbon Commission for Health Care Reform, and charged the committee to study and establish health care reform models for expanding coverage, especially for the under-insured and uninsured, and to decrease health care costs for all Colorado residents.

The Commission established a website: colorado.gov/208commission

- to provide interested parties with timely information.


Process
This past March, the Commission solicited comprehensive reform proposals from any interested party. Thirty-one proposals were submitted for consideration, including one from Club 20. 

Last month, the Commission selected four proposals for in-depth analysis. These proposals intentionally represent four substantially different approaches to health care reform.   Among the variables to be studied are cost impacts, utilization, and design.

Details of these four plans are available on the 208 website.

Advisory Task Forces...
The Commission has established four Advisory Task Forces to provide additional analysis. They represent business, rural areas of the state, providers, and vulnerable populations.

The Commission desires to understand the impacts on different populations represented by each task force (including both positive and problematic).

Five people from Mesa County have been selected to serve on these task forces: Diane Schwenke (President, Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce) will serve on the Business Task Force;  Kristy Reuss (Professor, Mesa State College School of Nursing) and I will serve on the Rural Task Force; Barbara Zind, MD (Pediatrician) will serve on the Provider Task Force; and Diann Rice (Adult Services Division Director, Mesa County Dept. of Human Services) will serve on the Vulnerable Populations Task Force.

Our community has already taken great strides in embracing the guiding principles outlined by the Commission.

Marillac Clinic represents one aspect of a much larger picture in Mesa County that strives to provide quality health care to all.

Over the past few years, Marillac has received considerable recognition for its leading practice of integrating health care to serve multiple patient needs during a single visit. Many public and elected officials, as well as other health care providers in the state, have toured our clinic to see for themselves how we deliver health care in a comprehensive and timely manner to working families who cannot afford health insurance.

Your Input…
The complex challenge of reforming health care in Colorado has begun. All of us – providers and consumers – have a vested interest in shaping the future of health care in Colorado.

As the work of the Commission proceeds, information will be accessible on the 208 website.
(colorado.gov/208commission)

In October, the Commission will solicit public input on its recommendations at community meetings in each congressional district. Dates, times and locations of those meetings will be determined in late summer. Your contribution to this dialogue is desired and most welcome.