On March 23, 2010, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law which started a wave of reform measures that will be implemented over a 10 year period. The law focused on comprehensive health insurance reform with an emphasis on what is referred to as the triple aim. The stated goal of the triple aim is to improve access to health care, reduce costs and improve the quality of care provided. The plan attempted to address the growing numbers of uninsured and the anticipated growth in people qualifying for Medicare due to the Baby Boomer generation turning 65 years old. Another concern related to the fact that our health care system in the United States was by far the most expensive however based on global quality rankings we were 11th among industrialized countries. We had the most expensive system but it was not the best.
We now find ourselves in the 5th year of health care reform. The Affordable Care Act has had a tremendous effect on the health care delivery system in Delta County and there are more changes ahead. We have seen significant shifts in our payer mixes towards more governmental programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. There has been a shift in the delivery of care away from the inpatient setting to outpatient care areas such as primary care offices or home health services. Mergers and acquisitions in health care are at an all time high and unfortunately many rural hospitals in the nation have had to close due to the unprecedented amount of change we have experienced.
Administrative Team (from left to right) - Larry Vincent, Chief Financial Officer; Jody Roeber, Chief Clinical Officer; Rachael Rhode, Executive Secretary; Jason Cleckler, Chief Executive Officer.
Over the past several years Delta County Memorial Hospital has taken steps to proactively respond to these anticipated changes. We have taken aggressive steps to improve the quality of care that is provided to our community members. We have invested in new technologies to stay up to date and at times ahead of the curve. In 2014, the hospital partnered with more clinics in the county to ensure access and improve our network to better serve our residents. These decisions and many others were made to not only maintain but to improve the health care in our county while maintaining our focus on being proactive and not reactive to changes.
Due to these decisions and careful strategic planning the hospital has experienced back to back positive financial years when other hospitals are struggling to adapt to the health care delivery system. We have transitioned from a hospital to a hospital system that is focused on improving quality and access. Our success over the past year was evidenced by our hospital receiving the only "A" grade in the region from a national quality measurement company for the third year. We also lowered our surgical infection rate to 0.19% which is significantly below the regional and national average.
In 2015 the hospital will continue to take steps towards improving the patient experience. We will stay focused on continuous quality improvement and the building of a health care network that will better serve our customers. While our main focus is the patient, we will also work to improve the employee experience. We believe that employees that are well cared for provide better care to our patients.
Jason Cleckler, CEO
|1501 E. 3rd Street Delta, Colorado 81416 (970) 874-7681|