Healthy Colorado launches insurance education drive

Filed under: Health Care |

The Partnership for a Healthy Colorado has launched a Web site,, and a radio advertising campaign to highlight health care reform and attempt to engage people in the health care reform process.
The push comes as the governor’s commission on health care reform is preparing to meet a January deadline to report to the legislature about proposals for reforming the state’s health care system.
“Colorado families are paying $934 more a year in health care premiums to care for the uninsured,” said Ralph Pollock, director of the Business Health Forum and chairman of the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry Health Council. “When premiums get too expensive, some consumers decide to go without health insurance. It’s a vicious cycle and people need to know that we can stop it.”
AARP Colorado is paying for the radio ads, which are available for downloading at

Olson named administrator for Penrose Community

Penrose-St. Francis Health Center has selected an administrator to oversee the closing of Penrose Community Hospital and its move to the Penrose North campus next August.
Nathan Olson will join Penrose during February as the chief administrative officer for Penrose Community Hospital. He is the president and chief executive officer of St. Thomas More Hospital in Cañon city.
Olson has more than 25 years of experience in financial and health care administration and has served in chief executive positions in Nebraska and Illinois.
A native of Colorado Springs, Olson received an undergraduate degree from Western State College and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix. He also is a certified public accountant.

Anthem ranks Colorado ninth in nation

Colorado ranks ninth in the country in terms of health status, according to Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
The insurance company created a team to collaborate with local and state officials to research health deficiencies and to design policy solutions to enhance programs aimed at improving overall health.
Developed from data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the index is based on a comprehensive assessment of 23 measures of health status. Anthem selected eight factors that affect the health of Colorado residents: prenatal care, low birth weight infants, influenza vaccination rate, pneumococcal immunization rate, physical activity levels, cigarette-smoking rate, diabetes and heart disease.
The index found that Colorado is an overall healthy state — particularly when assessed against national trends. But there is room for improvement: the state has a high percentage of low-birth weight babies and a low percentage of mothers who seek prenatal care during the first trimester.
While Colorado has the lowest rate of obesity in the nation, there is an upward trend, the report said.
Additionally, 20 percent of Coloradoans smoke.
Anthem donated $350,000 to the Fit4Colorado public education campaign.

HMOs see record increase

Net income for 11 Colorado health maintenance organizations increased 109 percent during the first six months of 2007.
Total earnings for the HMOs equaled $163.1 million, up from $78.2 million in 2006 and higher than the $48 million reported in 2005.
Kaiser Permanente shows the most growth in revenue, according to Colorado Managed Care, a nonprofit organization that routinely publishes the quarterly filings made by HMOs to the Colorado Division of Insurance.
Kaiser reported revenues of $109.5 million for the first six months, compared to $24.3 million a year ago and $5.3 million in 2005. The nonprofit insurance agency’s profits equaled a total of 67 percent of combined HMOs.
Total revenues for the HMOs rose sharply in the first half of the year to $1.9 billion, up from $1.8 billion last year.

CPHA receives grant

The Colorado Public Health Association has received a $90,000 grant to build capacity and create community programs.
The three-and-a-half year grant will be used for the American Public Health Association’s Get Ready campaign. APHA, the group’s parent organization, provided the money, which also will be used for basic operations, communications tools and lobbying.
The CPHA was created in 1938 to educate the public about health standards.
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Amy Gillentine covers health care for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.