Last updated 9:36PM ET
December 11, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Health Care Solution Study Begins
(2007-04-10)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: The search for a solution to Durango and La Plata County's health care crisis has begun.
The consultant hired by the Primary Health Care Community Coalition says a sustainable solution to the problem could be in place within a year.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports.

WEBB: THIS PROBLEM IS NOT UNIQUE AT ALL, WE HAVE A WEALTH OF EXPERIENC IN WORKING WITH THIS PROBLEM, IN FACT THAT IS A LOT OF WHAT WE DO, IS PRIMARY CARE SERVICE DEVELOPMENT.
The "we: Reesa Webb refers to is JSI, Inc.
That stands for John Snow, Inc, a Boston and Denver based multi national health care consulting firm.
Funded by 150-thousand dollars in city and county monies, JSI has been hired by the Primary Health Care Community Coalition.
Webb, who is the project director, kicked off their study by meeting Monday with members of the coalition.
JSI's job is to figure out how to improve delivery of primary heath care, especially to those who are not insured or underinsured, as well as those on medicare and medicaid.
The closure last month of Valley Wide Health Services has left an estimated 10-to-12 thousand people without primary care physicians.
Webb says as much as the problem this area faces isn't unique, the solution to it probably will be.
WEBB: THERE IS A WIDE VARIETY OF SOLUTIONS AND IT REALLY DEPENDS ON THE UNIQUE NATURE OF THE COMMUNITY AND WHAT THE SPECIFIC ACCESS PROBLEMS ARE, IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THE SOLUTION MIGHT BE.
JSI's job is to try and figure that out, as part of a three phased work plan.
Phase one involves reviewing the history of local health care and updating data related to it, a sort of environmental assessment as Webb describes it.
Phase two, stakeholder interviews and focus groups, including talking with patients and users, will be conducted to help JSI better understand the data.
Phase three, would involve studying health care options that are available or possible, to determine which would work locally.
That information would lead to recommendations.
WEBB: WE DEVELOP SORT OF WHAT I CALL A STRATEGIC DIRECTION WHICH WOULD LOOK AT WHICH MODELS WOULD BE MOST SUITABLE. AND THEN SUBSEQUENT TO THAT, ONCE WE DECIDE ON WHAT MODEL IS MOST SUITABLE, WE DECIDE ON A BUSINESS PLAN FOR OPERATIONALIZING THAT MODEL.
Webb says they'd expect to complete their work sometime late August, early September.
Decisions would then be made on who, or what entity, would be most suitable and responsible for implementing the reccomendations.
Members of the Primary Health Care Community Coalition hoped to have that solution in place within a year of Valley Wide's Closure.
Joint City-County funding the coalition secured for an interim clinic Mercy Regional Medical Center will open May 1st to address some unmet health care needs, is due to run out in 12 months.
Webb says she doesn't think that timetable is unrealistic.
WEBB: IF NEED BE, HOPEFULLY THE INTERIM CLINIC WOULD BE STANDING ON ITS OWN AND COULD OPERATE A LITTLE LONGER, BUT I COULD SEE A SOLUTION HAPPENING IN 12 MONTHS.
From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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