Kaiser Permanente pledges up to $10 million to Denver Health and challenges others to help vital Colorado safety net hospital

The funding comes as provided by Denver Health $120 million in uncompensated care in 2022, a doubling since 2020

DENVER, May 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — For more than 160 years, Denver Health has played a pivotal role as of Denver safety net central hospital, which provides care regardless of the patient’s ability to pay. But recently, the healthcare system has faced unprecedented financial challenges, largely due to the dramatic increase in uninsured patients, uncompensated care, and higher costs.

Today, Kaiser Permanente and Denver Health jointly announced a new $10 million Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to assist Denver Health with vital community health services, including continued access to primary and specialty care for those without the means to pay.

Kaiser Permanente will finance a $5 million grant to meet immediate need. Another $5 million will be available as a matching donation, an incentive for local organizations, members of the business community, the healthcare industry and others to come forward to help Denver Health.

“We are immensely grateful to Kaiser Permanente for their commitment to service Colorado with this generous financial support,” said the CEO of the Denver Health and Hospital Authority Donna Lynne, Dr. PH. “None of us can imagine a city or state without Denver Health. This community relies on us, and we need a coordinated community-wide effort to make sure we are sustainable now and in the future.”

Kaiser Permanente is the largest non-profit health plan in the state, and this support for Denver Health is part of the organization’s mission to improve the health of the Colorado Community. Healthcare organizations such as Denver Health, Community Funded Clinics, Rural Health Clinics, Free Clinics, School Health Centers, and Federally Qualified Health Centers are vital parts of of Colorado health safety net, which provides quality care to the state’s most resource-strapped populations.

“Denver Health plays an essential role in caring for patients in our state with significant medical needs,” said Mike Ramseier, president of Kaiser Permanente in Colorado. “A strong health safety net benefits our entire community. It’s imperative that we unite now to support Denver Health.”

As a comprehensive healthcare system, Denver Health cares for nearly 30% of of Denver population each year and provides the highest percentage of uninsured patient care of any hospital in the Denver metro area. Since its founding, Denver Health has provided billions of dollars in uncompensated care. In the wake of the pandemic, many people have delayed treatment, and Denver Health has seen sicker patients than otherwise would have arrived in their emergency rooms, as well as other clinical settings, which has driven health care costs to rise.

Denver Health’s uncompensated care has doubled from an annual average of 60 million dollars in 2020 y $120 million in 2022. Like many safety net hospitals across the country, Denver Health has also experienced inflationary costs for staff, medical equipment and drugs. On average, U.S. hospital costs have increased 17.5 percent since 2019. Many of these costs have disproportionately affected safety-net hospitals.

“Denver Health offers broad, vital and responsive access to quality care for Medicaid members, the uninsured and many other Coloradans,” he said Kim Bimestefer, executive director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Finance. “I applaud the leadership of healthcare organizations who are stepping up financially to support Denver Health and I encourage communities and hospitals around the world Denver area to do the same in support of Denver Health as a pillar of our state’s health care system.”

Additionally, Denver Health addresses critical health inequalities for low-income communities, communities of color, immigrants, refugees and people experiencing homelessness. The additional financial support helps ensure that underprivileged communities have access to a strong safety net that fairly meets patient needs and improves health outcomes.

Kaiser Permanente is committed to providing Coloradans with access to high-quality, affordable health care. Supporting the health safety net and promoting health equity are part of that commitment.

Kaiser Permanente has invested significantly in supporting charitable assistance throughout its history. This includes direct financial assistance for those receiving care in the Kaiser Permanente system and unable to pay, as well as investments like this in the broader health safety net. In 2022, Kaiser Permanente invested $100 million in community advocacy, partnerships, programs, and charitable outreach and outreach to improve the health and equity of all Coloradans. This snapshot highlights some of Kaiser Permanente’s work in 2021 to address the root causes of health, such as economic opportunity, affordable housing, safe and inclusive schools, and a healthy environment.

About Denver Health
Denver Health is a comprehensive hospital and healthcare system that provides high-quality care to all community members, regardless of their ability to pay. We provide medical care to a third of of Denver population, proudly serving as the city’s safety net hospital while also providing preventive, primary, and acute care services. For more than 160 years, Denver Health has been deeply rooted in community health and wellness by providing high-quality clinical care, world-class education and training for healthcare professionals, and advancing critical research that benefits our patients. We are guided by our mission to serve our community with excellence, compassion and stewardship as we work to ensure that all people have access to the care and programs they need to be happy, healthy and successful.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of healthcare. We are recognized as one of the leading providers of health care and non-profit health plans in America. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente is on a mission to provide high-quality health care services at affordable prices and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.7 million members in 8 states and the District of Colombia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and led by their doctors, specialists and team of healthcare professionals from the Permanente Medical Group. Our experienced and thoughtful medical teams are empowered and supported by technological advances and industry-leading tools for world-class health promotion, disease prevention, delivery of state-of-the-art care, and chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to innovations in care, clinical research, health education and community health advocacy. For more information, visit about.kp.org.

SOURCE Kaiser Permanente

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