Documentary by Mesa grads examines health care in valley

Viewers can take a peek behind the health care curtain in Grand Junction on Friday when Rocky Mountain PBS airs “The Secret Sauce,” about the way the Grand Junction medical community handles Medicare cases.

The documentary was made by two Colorado Mesa University graduates, director Brenden Fatchett and producer Kayla Niksic, as national discussion about health care focused on how the physicians, hospitals, Rocky Mountain Health Plans and others deliver services under Medicare.

“Collaboration is the biggest part” of the Grand Junction secret sauce, and the documentary features interviews with representative of each “ingredient” of the sauce, Fatchett said.

“It took some time behind the scenes and observing to really see what was happening and break it down” to show how the medical community saves nearly 33 percent on Medicare costs compared to the national average, Fatchett said.

One element is the willingness of all parties to put “patients first and doing what’s right and not necessarily what lines their pocketbooks,” Fatchett said.

Later studies also noted that the costs of care for insured patients in Mesa County were higher than most.

Fatchett and Niksic formed Kokopelli Pictures and are the first students to graduate from the incubator class at the Maverick Innovation Center, which they did with the help of Professor Regis Tucci, and Tim Hatten after Tucci’s death.

“The Secret Sauce” airs at 7:30 p.m.


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