Karl B. Gills: Vote ‘yes’ on referendums C and D | SteamboatToday.com

Karl B. Gills: Vote ‘yes’ on referendums C and D

The upcoming vote on Referendums C and D is extremely important to Yampa Valley Medical Center and hospitals across our state. On Sept. 22, the Board of Trustees of Yampa Valley Medical Center adopted a resolution supporting the passage of Referendums C and D.

For the last complete fiscal year, YVMC had about $5 million in patient charges for Medicaid patients in the hospital and residents of the Doak Walker Care Center. We received $3.2 million in payments from Medicaid. The payments to YVMC fell $1.5 million short of the actual cost of caring for Medicaid patients and residents.

Expense control in state government is important, and Colorado has cut $1 billion in spending over the past three years because of restrictions placed by the constitutional amendment commonly known as the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR). The budget reductions have impacted state Medicaid payments to hospitals and physicians negatively. Payments continue to fall below the actual cost of providing care.

If Referendums C and D do not pass, funding for these essential services will be under increased pressure for reduction as even more drastic state budget cuts are required. The result will be higher health care charges to make up for the increasing shortfall, fewer physicians accepting Medicaid patients and reduced services provided by hospitals due to inadequate funding.

I encourage voters to consider the possible effects on the services we expect from our state government and local organizations and vote for Referendums C and D.

Karl B. Gills

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Chief Executive Officer,

Yampa Valley Medical Center