By Stephanie Motter

Lately, making healthcare more affordable seems to be top of mind for everyone. It’s no wonder that creative health care solutions are popping up out of necessity to help control rising costs on both the insurance and provider sides of care. The good news is that more creative solutions are working.

Direct Primary Care clinics like Trailhead and Appleton Clinics have cropped up in the Grand Valley, and just a few miles up I-70, mountain communities created Peak Health Alliance to negotiate their own rates with local hospitals.

At the state level, Governor Polis is tackling high insurance costs through reinsurance. We are seeing immediate and real savings to some folks in rural parts of Colorado because of reinsurance, and some Monument Health members are seeing those savings as well. We hope our lawmakers will offer solutions that can make these reinsurance savings last.

But I would be remiss not to draw attention to the good work our local team here at Monument Health is doing behind the scenes to quietly reduce health care costs and provide a higher level of care to our members.

After all, Monument Health was started as a creative health care solution to do just that. We take a different approach to health care, one that is truly integrated and puts our members at the center.

So what is Monument Health, anyway?

We are a team of local professionals who bring together doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies to the table to achieve better outcomes at a lower cost. We look at care models, and negotiate with all parties, removing layers of redundancy and cutting the red tape. We drive down patient costs while at the same time increase the quality of care our members receive.

We have been providing this coordinated care model on the Western Slope since 2016. We don’t claim to be single-handedly “fixing” the system, but what we are doing is improving healthcare for the nearly 15,000 members receiving products or services within our network.

We guarantee our members access to primary care providers, and in the case you need to see a specialist, we ensure you are seen sooner. We get rid of costly waste and ensure that our doctors are incentivized to treat patients based on quality care and not the number of people they shuffle through their doors.

Thanks to our local team of wellness warriors, Monument Health has helped hundreds of people navigate tricky insurance questions, match them with a doctor they like where oftentimes there is a $0 copay, educate them on when to and when NOT to make a trip the ER, help them with extra services at no extra cost including behavioral health, smoking cessation, diabetes management, even cooking classes.

All of these creative, integrated efforts translate to better care and a reduction of costs.

There is still more work to be done, and I know there are more ideas still incubating to help cut costs. As long as we all remain committed to helping solve the pressing issue of affordability, I remain hopeful it can and will be achieved. Because after all, we all need access to high-quality care in Western Colorado, without breaking the bank.   

 Stephanie Motter is the Chief Executive Officer of Monument Health. Before joining Monument Health, Motter served as Vice President of Quality & Clinical Strategy at DaVita. Previously, she worked as a nurse practitioner in the Denver and Boston areas. She received her bachelor of arts in economics from Smith College and her masters of science degree in nursing from Yale University.