After months of negotiations, the Post Independent reports that Centura Health, Colorado’s largest healthcare provider is backing out of the Southwest Health Alliance, an offshoot of Summit County-based Peak Health Alliance, which Garfield County is expected to join.
Centura made the announcement with a paid advertisement in the latest weekend edition of the Durango Herald.
In the ad, the healthcare provider states that instead of partnering with the Southwest Health Alliance, Centura will offer its own discounted plan, promising 20 percent savings from previous offerings. They also criticize the intermediary negotiation model being pioneered by the Peak Health Alliance, with whom they partner, saying that third-party solutions narrow consumer choice and hamper competition.
Centura was one of the first providers to partner with the health-purchasing alliance in Summit. Now Peak Health CEO Tamara Pogue says she’s concerned about the sudden withdrawal from negotiations, saying that the Southwest Health Alliance has been working with Centura for three months, and that fee negotiations and rate schedules were expected to wrap up this week. Pogue also expressed concerns about whether Centura would do the same thing in Summit County in the future.
The issue could even have an impact locally. After a $50,000 grant to Peak Health from the County, and two public meetings in Rifle and Glenwood Springs last month, Garfield County Commissioners affirmed their intent to join the third-party cooperative, in an effort to bring down health care costs in the area.