Health care remains a topic of debate as the Colorado Commission on Affordable Health Care visits Grand Junction to discuss the future for our area.

With two of the largest hospitals between Denver and Salt Lake City, Grand Junction is taking a look at our healthcare system.

“This is our effort to come out and present a number of issues that were looking at and listening to the people in this community,” says Steve Erkenbrack with the commission.

And as the data shows, our area sees larger payments per person made when it comes to both commercial and Medicaid healthcare.

“This information shows us this area really varies from service to service, so there’s certainly opportunity to look at, ‘how can we lower the cost compared to the state average?’,” says Tracey Campbell with CO-APCD. “But then there’s other areas where Grand Junction is right in the average.”

According to Community Hospitals CEO, Chris Thomas, it’s time to see how we can fix those high numbers.

“This is such a big deal for all of us,” says Thomas. “The cost of healthcare, the affordable care act, and most people are just struggling with their insurance premiums and costs, so we’ve got to look at opportunity to lower the coat of healthcare.”

The Colorado Commission on Affordable Health Care says, they collect data from all areas because every part of Colorado is different.

“This is local and services that will work in Grand Junction may or may not work in Denver,” says Erkenbrack. “What we are finding is some of the issues people have in common and there are some issues particular to specific communities.”

And according to those in attendance, this discussion is the first step towards more affordable healthcare.