Colorado may transfer patients to rural hospitals as city bed capacity shrinks

After Colorado's hospital transfer system was raised to tier 3, the highest level, patients may be transferred from any hospital in the state without their consent, 9 News reported Nov. 8.

On Nov. 7, 93 percent of acute care beds were taken in Colorado, with 777 of the state's 8,728 beds open. Many of these available beds are in rural communities, which will make transfers from metro areas to rural areas more frequent, according to the article.

Those who are transferred will typically be people who are expected to be discharged in a couple days.

"This is a way to make sure we are using all of those available beds, and many of those may be in our rural hospitals," said Cara Welch with the Colorado Hospital Association. "We are looking at what patients are in our larger hospitals that maybe they just need a couple more days before they are ready for discharge. They are recovering well but they are not quite ready to move out of the hospital. How can we move those patients out and free up the resources at the larger hospital?"

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