Ritter lauds health care consortium in Grand Junction

Gov. Bill Ritter on Thursday recognized the contribution of a health care consortium centered in Grand Junction.

The Colorado Beacon Consortium, informally called the Grand Junction system, has been held up by President Obama and others as a way in which health care costs can be reduced while increasing quality.

To recognize it, Ritter declared Thursday “Colorado Beacon Consortium Day” in Colorado. He delivered the official proclamation that afternoon to members of the consortium in the Ward building of Rocky Mountain Health Plans. With its emphasis on collaboration and communication among health care providers to benefit patients, the consortium is pioneering health care changes, Ritter said. “You think differently than a lot of other places in the country,” Ritter told about 40 people involved in the consortium.

Though it’s been operating informally for three decades, the consortium took on formal status in May, when it was recognized as one of 17 communities pioneering new approaches to health care.

The consortium has an $11.8 million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to expand its network into six other western Colorado counties, Colorado Beacon Consortium Director Patrick Gordon said.

Quality Health Network, which has made patient records available electronically to hospitals, physicians, therapists, insurers and others, is expanding that ability to the other counties, Gordon said.


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