Delta, CO (March 28, 2022) – Delta Health is excited to announce that as of Monday morning it has received Sole Community Hospital Provider Status.
“This is a huge first step forward for Delta Health’s ability to continue to survive as a small, independent rural hospital,” stated Matt Heyn, president and CEO of Delta Health. “But our fight is not over. We have been able to secure this for the hospital, but if we want to remain independent, we need the community’s support [with the tax initiative].”
Sole Community Hospital means that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recognize how important the presence of Delta Health is to the communities of Delta County. This status means an increase in Medicare reimbursement, including access to the 340b drug program.
“This keeps Delta Health moving forward in addressing future needs of the County and to attract even more talent and reinvest in our future,” said Heyn.
“I’m ecstatic to hear the great news that CMS recognizes the tremendous importance of Delta Health to the people of Delta County by awarding us the status of Sole Community Hospital!” said Representative Matt Soper, who serves on the Delta Health Board of Directors and who was instrumental in spearheading the second application for Sole Community Hospital. “I also want to thank the Board and hospital administration for joining me in not giving up on pursuing this status. Today is a big win for Delta, but we aren’t out of the woods yet.”
Delta Health re-submitted an application to CMS in early January. The first application was denied under the rule for being 1.5 miles too close to Montrose Regional Health. Delta Health re-applied under the exception to the rule taking into consideration severe weather conditions and topographical limitations (the Black Canyon) for the majority of Delta Health patients. 87.8% of Delta Health’s patient population is found in the north and east areas of Delta County in the communities of Orchard City, Cedaredge, Hotchkiss, Crawford and Paonia.
The new application painted a picture of what it would look like for those patients from each community and the distance in potentially inclement weather they would have to drive in order to receive critical care otherwise offered at Delta Health.
“We just want to thank Governor Jared Polis’ office, senators Michael Bennet, John Hickenlooper, and congresswoman Lauren Boebert, and our state representative and fellow board member, Matt Soper for their support. Without their help, insight and advocacy for rural health, we could not have done this,” stated Jean Ceriani, Delta Health Board of Directors Chair.
“I visited Delta Health and saw firsthand the critical services it provides to rural communities across the region. This swift action from the federal government will support the essential medical care that Delta provides and bolster the local economy,” said U.S. Senator Michael Bennet.
Other special thank yous go to all those who offered letters of support: Larry Wilkening, Mayor of the town of Hotchkiss, Tammy Smith, DH Board Member, Jean Ceriani, Delta Health Board Chair, Montrose Regional Health, John Marshall, President Colorado Mesa University, Olathe Fire Protection District, Grace & DeVon Wilson, Delta community member, State Police and First Responders Patrol Captain and Troop Commander, James Saunders, Fire Chief Tad Rowan of the Montrose Fire Protection District, North Fork EMS, Kathy Steckel, Kim Bimestefer, Executive Director Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, and Delta County Ambulance District, Chief Kirby Clock.
“It was truly a team effort,” said Heyn. “We are celebrating this success as putting us one step closer to our goal, but we are not losing focus. There is still work to be done.”