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Change Agent Chat: Colorado PERA

Location: Online
Date: April 28, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM


Change Agent: Individual or organization working to lower costs, improve care, and make Colorado healthier.


Change Agent: Individual or organization working to lower costs, improve care, and make Colorado healthier.

Organizations across Colorado break down barriers firmly entrenched in our health care system. With boundless passion and limited resources, they increase access to care, implement innovative ways to deliver high quality care at affordable prices, and, day in and day out, fight to keep Coloradans healthy.

During these chats, we will highlight one of these Change Agents and the exciting work they are doing to create a better health system for us all.

Colorado PERA -

It is estimated that by 2030, Colorado’s population over the age of 65 will increase by 150 percent. Colorado is known for being an active state, and as the demographics of the population shift, the demand for costly joint replacement procedures is likely to grow.

Across the nation and in Colorado, prices for knee and hip replacements vary widely. According to, out-of-pocket cost for knee replacements in Colorado can be anywhere from $20,000 - $58,000, while hip replacements can be as low as $21,000 and as high as $36,000. The Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA), a self-insured organization, is proactively addressing variation in joint replacement cost and quality through their PERACare Select Program for Hips and Knees.

“PERACare members receive about 100 joint replacements a year,” explains Jessica Linart, PERA’s Insurance Manager, “and PERA’s costs for in-network knee and hip replacements can vary by as much as $80,000 depending on the location and facility.” To minimize this variation and simultaneously improve care, the PERACare Select program is working with facilities that have agreed to provide joint replacements for a pre-determined price.

PERA has partnered with five metro-area HCA/HealthOne facilities to offer the procedures to eligible members with no out-of-pocket cost for most patients. “The providers who are participating in this new option are highly qualified and experienced surgeons. These providers boast lower site infection rates and shorter hospital stays than the national averages,” Linart notes. “This select group of doctors and facilities have set a fixed price for a full suite of services from intake to discharge, including surgery, hardware, anesthesia as well as pain block and management.”

Has PERACare Select been a success? What cost savings have been realized through the program?  How has PERACare effected outcomes?

Join us during lunch on Friday, April 28th when CIVHC’s Chief Medical Officer, Jay Want, MD chats with PERA’s Executive Director, Gregory Smith.

Click here to register