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Valley Health Alliance Works To Establish Primary Care Network

Dec 3, 2019

Credit Elise Thatcher

The Valley Health Alliance is a group of six of the largest employers in the Roaring Fork Valley. They've joined together to lower healthcare costs for employees and their dependents -- currently, about 6,000 people.

The alliance consists of Aspen Skiing Company, the City of Aspen, Pitkin County, Aspen Valley Hospital, Mountain Family Health Centers and Valley View Hospital. The group presented some of their 2019 accomplishments and 2020 goals to Aspen City Council earlier this week. 

Chris McDowell, Valley Health Alliance executive director, said in 2019, the group pushed for something called team-based care. 

“In other words, engaging primary care providers in our community to work together and collaborate to provide the highest quality of care possible at the lowest cost possible,” he said. 

McDowell said nearly all local primary care providers are willing to be a part of the effort.

The group wants more residents to see high-quality care and lower healthcare costs. McDowell said one of the alliance’s goals in 2020 is to include smaller companies, which account for about 80% of the employers in the Roaring Fork Valley. 

“Anywhere from two to five to ten employees is the majority of our businesses, and so they need some sort of solution,” McDowell said. 

He said the Valley Health Alliance is working with local chambers of commerce to encourage more businesses to join, in order to help lower the cost of healthcare for their employees.