A Colorado Springs, Colo., task force voted unanimously Monday morning to recommend that the City Council select the University of Colorado Hospital and Poudre Valley Health System's joint bid for a long-term lease of the city-owned Memorial Health System.
Colo. panel makes lease recommendation
The proposal from the 437-bed UC Hospital in Aurora (PDF) and the two-hospital Fort Collins-based system calls for an initial payment of $74 million (previous documents listed a $50 million payment, but that figure was later “clarified” and changed to $74 million), annual payments of more than $5.6 million for 30 years, and an annual payment of $3 million for 40 years to fund the development of a new school of medicine branch campus at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs.
“There were a number of issues and local control was probably part of it,” said UCH spokesman Dan Weaver, who added that the systems' “shared values” on charity care, Medicare, Medicaid and TriCare commitments (according to bid documents, Memorial and UCH provide 90% of the state's TriCare treatment), and the dedicated funding for the medical school campus also were important factors in winning the task force's endorsement.
The task force is expected to present its formal recommendation to the City Council on Jan. 9.
The four other active bids (PDF) were presented by HealthOne/HCA, which included a an upfront payment of $500 million for a 40-year lease; Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System, which included an agreement to pay $10.7 million annually for 40 years; Centura Health (parent company of 423-bed Penrose–St. Francis Health Services in Colorado Springs), which said leasing Memorial would contribute to a local “medical arms race” and represent “a potentially short-sighted approach” and called for the creation of a “Community Health Collaborative” instead; and one from Memorial itself which called for creation of an independent not-for-profit entity to run the system's facilities which include its 547-bed namesake hospital.
The final selection of the city council will require approval by a vote of Colorado Springs residents.
The UCH-Poudre Valley Health System proposal noted that the two "are nearing the formation of a new hosptial system" which would include Chiclren's Hospital Colorado. If the bid is accepted, it's noted in the proposal that Memorial would become the southern hub of the new "University of Colorado Health" system which would have Poudre Valley as its northern hub and with " UCH, headquartered at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, serving as both its literal and geographic academic medical core."
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