Report: Colorado’s State Government Option Could Financially Impact Hospitals and Disproportionately Hurt Access to Care for Racial and Ethnic Minorities

Colorado – A new report released today finds the Colorado state government option could financially impact 78 percent of all Colorado hospitals, totaling $112 million in losses annually. As a result, over 40 percent of hospitals that could be at higher risk for closure disproportionately serve Black, Latinx, and Native American residents – impacting access to care for racial and ethnic minorities in Colorado.

This financial impact could exacerbate stresses on Colorado’s health care system and threaten access to care. “A total of 22 Colorado hospitals are considered high-risk, with losses ranging from $1 million up to $16 million… Of the 22 high-risk hospitals, nine…are in counties with racial and ethnic minority populations that are larger than the state average,” the report finds. Additionally, rural communities would face similar challenges. The report notes, “Ethnic and racial minority populations in rural areas of the state are especially vulnerable. Although the Indian Health Service (IHS) maintains three outpatient facilities in Colorado, tribal health systems such as that of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe rely upon regional hospitals, such as Mercy Regional Medical Center, which stands to lose $2.5 million as a result of declining revenues under a state government option, potentially increasing access challenges for Native Americans in the region.”

While the vast majority of Colorado hospitals could be negatively impacted by the state government option, the latest report from FTI demonstrates a new state government-controlled health insurance system could exacerbate health care disparities during this critical time.

Rather than starting over with the state government option, we should build on and improve what is working in health care where private coverage, Medicare, and Medicaid work together to expand access to health coverage and care for every Coloradan.

Key Findings:

  • During this critical time, a state government option could financially impact 78 percent of all Colorado hospitals.
  • Today, racial and ethnic minorities in Colorado comprise one-third of the state’s total population, yet 40 percent of Colorado hospitals that could be at higher risk for closure under the state government option serve these communities.
  • Hospitals fill a critical gap in care for Black and Hispanic/Latinx Coloradans, many of whom already contend with significant disparities in health status, access, and outcomes, and must rely more heavily on hospital services to meet basic health care needs.
  • Native Americans in rural areas could also see their access to care threatened. This builds on a previous report, which found twenty-three rural hospitals could be at increased risk of closure under the state government option.

To read the complete report from FTI Consulting titled, “Colorado Government Option: Impact on Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups,” CLICK HERE.

For additional source comments and interviews, please contact [email protected]

About FTI Consulting: FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations manage change, mitigate risk and resolve disputes: financial, legal, operational, political and regulatory, reputational and transactional.  With more than 6,200 employees located in 28 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, Illuminate and overcome complex business challenges and make the most of opportunities.  For more information, visit www.fticonsulting.com.