Colorado City A Model For Low-Cost, High Quality Care, Series Details

Colorado Public News/Los Angeles Times presents a series of stories about Grand Junction Colorado which delivers some of the best and lowest-cost health care in the nation.

"And nearly everyone has health coverage. Getting results like this across the nation could solve much of the nation's health care problems, resulting in a healthier population, and saving $700 billion a year." Medicare spends $5,873 per year on care here for the residents compared to the national average of $8,300. "At its essence, the Grand Junction system emphasizes primary care. Advocates believe it fosters health, and forestalls disease, saving skyrocketing costs when people wait too long to see a doctor. That philosophy plays out from birth to death. The focus is on prevention of problems like premature births; on management of chronic issues so people don't end up in the hospital; and on patient comfort when death is near and inevitable."

The series also looks at hospice there; keys to providing low cost care; preventive exercise to help stop expensive surgery; a comparison of Grand Junction's cost with high-cost McAllen, Texas; how the uninsured find care and a ranking of the health care quality in many cities from CMS (Scanlon and Imse, 2/25).

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