Health care organization receives $100,000 grant

Filed under: Health Care |

Rocky Mountain Health Care Services has received a $100,000 grant from the Denver-based Daniels Fund to support the development of the Program for All Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).

“The goal of the RMHCS PACE program is to offer high-quality, cost-effective care in the least restrictive setting to the elderly population of El Paso and Teller counties,” said Laurie Tebo, president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Health Care Services. “The program will bring all services together in one location, promoting continuity of care among providers and decreasing fragmentation of services to participants.”

The grant will assist in launching a program in collaboration with Silver Key Senior Services, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care and the Pikes Peak Area Agency on Aging. The money will support staff and contract expenses prior to beginning operations.

The Daniels Fund operates the Daniels Scholarship Program and the Daniels Grants Program in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The fund was established by Bill Daniels, a pioneer in cable television. Efforts to assist the homeless, physically disabled and the elderly are among the programs funded by the foundation.

Heart walk

The Colorado Springs Chapter of the American Heart Association is sponsoring a three-mile walk, the association’s largest annual fundraiser. More than 2,000 people are expected to participate in the event.

Starting at 7:30 a.m. June 3, the walk is intended to raise awareness about the seriousness of heart disease. According to the association, heart disease is the No. 2 killer of children under 12 and is the No. 1 killer of both adult men and women.

Research funded by the association has contributed advances in CPR, bypass surgery, and clot-busting and other life-extending drugs.

For more information, call 635-7688 or visit www.walk.americanheart.org.

The American Heart Association invested more than $439 million last year for research, professional and public education, and advocacy to inform people about what they can do to reduce risk and live longer.

Report shows coverage gap

In Colorado, uninsured adults are more than four times more likely not to see a doctor when they need to compared to their counterparts with insurance, according to a new report.

“The Coverage Gap: A State-by-State Report on Access to Care” identifies the extent of disparities in access to health care between insured and uninsured. The findings confirm that not receiving medical care is taking a toll on the 767,000 Colorado residents who do not have health coverage.

More uninsured adults in the state say they are in poor or fair health, compared to state residents who have insurance.

“Having health insurance is important no matter who you are or where you live. This is a critical national problem that demands national attention,” said Annie Wohlgenant, vice president of philanthropy for The Colorado Health Foundation.

The report shows that the uninsured not only skip needed medical care because of the cost, but they also are more likely to miss health screenings that can detect cancer in its earliest, most treatable stages. Such statistics are especially troubling for the older uninsured population, whose need for such screenings dramatically increases with age.

“This report gives a warning to our state and national leaders by showing that our neighbors, friends and relatives without health coverage live sicker, and will likely die younger, than those who have insurance,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Countering popular opinion that the uninsured are overwhelmingly young and healthy, the analysis shows that an increasing number of Americans over age 50 are finding themselves without health care coverage. According to the most recent figures, nearly 1.7 million adults age 50-64 are uninsured in the western United States.

Thirty-eight percent of Colorado residents living without health insurance report being unable to see a doctor when needed during the past 12 months due to cost, compared to just 9 percent of adults who have health care coverage.

In Colorado, 27 percent of women ages 40-64 with health insurance have not received a mammogram during the past two years, compared to nearly 56 percent of women without insurance.

The report was prepared for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation by researchers at the State Health Access Data Assistance Center at the University of Minnesota.

The analysis of health disparities between insured and uninsured adults uses data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2003 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey, a national telephone survey of preventive and health risk behaviors.

It is administered in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to adults age 18 and older. The analysis of the number of Americans age 50-64 without coverage uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey from 1994, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2004 and 2005.

Amy Gillentine covers health care for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.