Colorado Government Option: Impact on Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups
As Colorado lawmakers prepare for the upcoming 2021 legislative session, the state’s public option proposal, referred to here as the “state government option,” will once again be up for consideration. Previously, FTI Consulting detailed how the policy could prove detrimental to health care providers while resulting in marginal coverage gains in the state.
In this brief, FTI Consulting revisits our analysis of the state government option to update our impact findings with the most recently proposed state government option hospital payment rates and to understand how the proposal could affect vulnerable populations, particularly those in communities that rely on hospitals that would be at high financial risk—meaning they would face losses of $1 million or more—under the new system.
FTI Consulting analyzed the demographics of those communities and patients served by providers expected to suffer significant losses under the proposal. The analysis allowed us to detail the potential impact a reduction of services—either through service line cuts or full facility closures—could have on the economically disadvantaged and racial and ethnic minority groups in Colorado.
While Colorado ranks above the U.S. median for general health status, significant variations exist across the state.1 Ultimately, we conclude that ensuring adequate resources for providers that serve higher percentages of minority populations is essential to protecting access to care and tackling health disparities.
1: Bains J. 2020 County Health Rankings. Colorado Health Institute. https://www.coloradohealthinstitute.org/blog/2020-county-health-rankings. Published April 9, 2020.
Senior Managing Director – Chief Operating Officer, Center for Healthcare Economics and Policy