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The Colorado Health Foundation will award $6 million in grants during 2008 for its Healthy Connections health information technology initiative.
The money is in addition to the group’s initial investment of $2.5 million last year, and will be used to purchase software and hardware for providers caring for low-income, uninsured Coloradoans. Continue Reading Colorado Health Foundation giving $6 million in grants

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Flu rates triple in El Paso County

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The number of hospitalized influenza cases surged during January and February in El Paso County.
The Department of Health and Environment reports that there were 22 people hospitalized during January, a significant increase compared to the three reported cases during January 2007. During February, 89 hospitalizations were reported, more than tripling last season’s case total of 26.
More than 50 percent of patients were older than 20, said Bernadette Albanese, medical director for the health department. Continue Reading Flu rates triple in El Paso County

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Colorado State University’s public health graduate program will open its doors to its first students in August.
The graduate degree program is integrated with the Colorado School of Public Health, which includes the University of Colorado at Denver’s health sciences programs and the University of Northern Colorado’s community health units. Continue Reading CSU launching public health master’s degree program

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Health care site examines reform plans

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A new health care reform Web site, provides politicians’ viewpoints on the subject, as well as opinion, news and analysis aimed at increasing the dialogue about health care. The site, www.reformplans.com, plans to facilitate a “broad discussion” of the issues through an outline of various health care reform proposals, and features a plan comparison grid… Continue Reading Health care site examines reform plans

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A couple retiring this year will need about $225,000 in savings just to cover medical costs in retirement, according to analysis by Fidelity Investments. The figure, calculated for a couple age 65, is up 4.7 percent from the $215,000 estimate for 2007, the financial services company said. And it is similar to other projections for… Continue Reading Retiring? Better have at least $225,000

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Three nonprofit organizations are combining resources to combat the shortage of primary care doctors in rural and urban clinics — facilities that provide care for uninsured and underinsured Colorado residents.
The Colorado Health Foundation, the Colorado Community Health Network and the Colorado Rural Health Center have created a $6 million program that provides student loan repayment assistance to as many as 12 doctors a year who are willing to practice either in rural or urban underserved communities. Continue Reading Nonprofits offering loan assistance to rural doctors

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New Penrose COO on the job

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Jamie Smith starts today as the Chief Operating Officer of Penrose-St. Francis Health Services. He succeeds Andrea Coleman, who resigned Jan 25. Smith has been working at the Centura Health Service Center as vice president of operations since June 2007. Prior to coming to Centura, he spent five years in hospital management as vice president… Continue Reading New Penrose COO on the job

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Trauma care providers say a report released by Gov. Bill Ritter’s Office of Policy and Initiatives verifies what they have been saying for four years: the switch from a no-fault auto insurance system to a tort system has left trauma care providers with millions of dollars of unpaid costs.
The costs are shifted to health insurers and consumers through increased co-pays, deductibles and other charges. Continue Reading Governor’s report reveals millions in unpaid costs

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Insurance premiums in Colorado will rise by double digits for the seventh year in a row during 2008.
The Lockton Co. of Colorado reports that the average increase is 12.9 percent, higher than national levels. More than 88 percent of employers plan to pass along some portion of the rate increase to their employees.
While insurance premiums continue to experience double-digit increases, the average merit pay increase is 3.5 percent. Continue Reading Health premiums continue double-digit trend upward

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Ritter unveils health care reform plan

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Gov. Bill Ritter unveiled his proposal to address the state’s health care reform needs yesterday. The proposed package is called “Building Blocks for Health Care Reform,” and details plans to contain costs, improve access and expand availability of health care in the state. The plan does not address ways to provide health coverage to all… Continue Reading Ritter unveils health care reform plan

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