As the new CEO of the Colorado Rural Health Center, I have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback I have received about the organization and mission we serve. Prior to accepting this position, I had a strong appreciation for the quality of CRHC, but I did not realize the vast reach of the organization and the extent of the services we provide to rural communities. It has been wonderful getting to know our partner organizations and catching up with friends from organizations that I previously worked with and now have the opportunity to collaborate with in a different capacity. I thank everyone for the warm welcome that I have received and the outpouring of messages of congratulations on the position I now have the honor of serving. For those of you I have yet to meet, I look forward to getting to know you soon.
As you are all aware, one of the biggest challenges facing CRHC and rural healthcare providers are the imminent cuts to our national budget. Critical Access Hospitals and other important healthcare programs face significant decreases to revenue as policymakers in Washington work on reducing the deficit and cutting federal spending. The Budget Control Act of 2011 calls for $1.2-$1.5 trillion reduction in federal expenditures over the next ten years. A bipartisan “Super Committee” of 12 members of Congress has been created to develop recommendations for reaching the $1.2+ trillion goal. If this Committee cannot produce a proposal to Congress by November 23, or if Congress fails to approve any proposal by December 23, automatic 2% cuts, or sequestration, will be applied to Medicare provider rates, defense, and other programs.
One of CRHC’s top priorities is ensuring Congress understands the devastating impact these cuts could have on our state’s most vulnerable populations and the facilities who serve them. Colorado’s Congressional delegation needs to hear from you about the impact these cuts will have on rural providers and access to care in rural communities. We have several resources on our website and in this Special Delivery for more information to assist you with making your voice heard. We will continue to keep you updated continually as November 23rd approaches.
Rural communities are known for their “can do” attitude and their ability to rally together in times of need. Thank you for joining CRHC in this time of need and helping us provide the support that allows all Coloradans, rural and urban, to have access to high quality healthcare services. Our mission during the past 20 years has been to support rural healthcare by meeting the needs proactively and immediately and we will continue to keep one step ahead to ensure our members can continue to serve their communities.