Discussion about Rural Health Insurance Rates
COMMITTEE ON HEALTH CARE EXCHANGE
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11:41 AM -- Discussion about Rural Health Insurance Rates
Cindy Sovine-Miller, Colorado Commission on Affordable Health Care, presented to the committee on rural health insurance rates. She provided a handout to the committee (Attachment R). She highlighted page 3 of the handout that provides information about trends in Colorado coverage. She discussed the increase in Medicaid clients and stated that there was not a proportional increase in Medicaid providers. Ms. Sovine-Miller reviewed information that was collected in statewide meetings about competition, technology, workforce, and workforce pipeline. She discussed the importance of preventative care. She stated that the commission will issue a report in November with recommendations and feedback from stakeholders.
Michelle Mills, Colorado Rural Health Center, reviewed the challenges facing rural Colorado, including higher insurance premium rates, consumer demographics, and time and access to care. She provided two handouts to the committee (Attachments S and T). She stated that 13 counties do not have a hospital. Ms. Mills reviewed the opportunities to meet rural needs outlined in Attachment S. She stated that case managers could be effective in reducing the cost of care, but there is no payment method for case mangers. She discussed the importance of preventative care and rural citizens accessing care in the metro areas. Ms. Mills responded to questions about the difficulties to integrating care in rural areas. Ms. Mills continued to dialogue with the committee about rural health care costs.
160802 AttachS.pdf160802 AttachT.pdf
Cindy Palmer, Colorado Choice Health Plans, discussed the efforts of her organization to serve underserved populations. She discussed the rural population and the provider community in rural areas. She stated that rural areas have a higher percent of Medicare, Medicaid, and uninsured populations. She referenced the impact of legalized marijuana on rural emergency rooms. Ms. Palmer discussed creating pathways of care for those from rural communities to allow information to be shared between providers. She discussed the use of imaging, continuity of care, the need to control the cost of pharmaceutical drugs, and evaluating the cost-per-unit of care, which is driven by the provider community.