Delta Health hospital facing financial difficulties, seeking Sole Community Hospital status

That status would increase the facility’s Medicare reimbursements and give it access to the 340B drug program
Delta Health Hospital is hoping to become a sole community hospital, doing so would allow the hospital to offer additional care for it's patients.
Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 10:42 PM MST
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DELTA, Colo. (KKCO) - Delta Health is asking the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to approve its request that its hospital be considered a Sole Community Hospital.

That status would increase the facility’s Medicare reimbursements and give it access to the 340B drug program, allowing it to get drugs at cheaper prices.

Delta Health is saying the hospital is losing money and needs Sole Community Hospital status to stay financially sustainable.

Matthew Heyn, Chief Executive Officer of Delta Health, explained that the hospital’s previous application in the spring of 2021 for Sole Community Hospital status was denied. The reason for that: the hospital is one and a half miles too close to Montrose Regional Health. “We’ve had financial challenges as an organization for about the last decade. Becoming a Sole Community Hospital is one avenue that we’re looking at in order to continue our mission of providing high-quality local health care to the communities that we serve,” outlined Heyn.

Heyn, alongside Julie Hoffman, Chief Legal Officer for Delta Health and member of the organization’s board of directors, traveled to Washington, D.C. to ask Colorado Senators Michael Hickenlooper (D) and Michael Bennet (D) and Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R) to support their request. Colorado Representative Matt Soper (District 54), who represents parts of Delta and Mesa Counties at the state legislature, went with them.

Soper argued that, “If we’re unable to get something like Sole Community Status, which means we’ll have a higher reimbursement rate coming back to the hospital, then I really fear what’s going to happen to the hospital. So it means that we probably won’t stay a community-owned and community-independent hospital...There’s always the fear that we may not be able to keep the doors open.”

If this request fails to go through, the hospital will have to try out other ideas, according to Heyn.

He explained that, “Plan B would potentially be going after a sales tax initiative. And then we’re looking at other options beyond that if those first two options don’t pan out.”

Rep. Soper worries that without the Delta hospital, residents would have to go to Grand Junction or Montrose for care when he says hospitals in those areas are already having issues accommodating current levels of demand.

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