Colorado employers join national group to negotiate with hospitals

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Several employers in Colorado signed an agreement June 8 to directly contract with specific hospitals and freestanding outpatient centers in the state.

Under the agreement, the Purchaser Business Group on Health and The Colorado Purchasing Alliance will work together to identify which centers they will send employees to. The organizations will directly contract with facilities and providers through which they think employees can get the best care for a low cost.

Among the 11 employers participating in the agreement are the state of Colorado and the city of Denver.

The groups will contract with the identified "centers of excellence" for condition categories including orthopedics, pregnancy and mental health, using the same standards to evaluate the providers. 

"We've seen a readiness on the part of large employers, who pay the lion's share of health care costs in this country, to partner directly with providers who can deliver high-value services that improve the care and well-being of employees," Elizabeth Mitchell, president and CEO of PBGH, said in the news release. 

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