Investigation finds that private equity was running an anesthesiology monopoly in Colorado

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    02_28_24headlines Franziska Stangl

Anesthesiology monopoly forced patients to pay higher prices, now has to cut ties with hospitals

The national anesthesiology practice USAP has to sever its ties with five of the largest non-profit hospitals in Colorado after Attorney General Phil Weiser led an antitrust investigation into the company.

The investigation found that USAP, which is owned by a private equity firm, forced patients to pay higher prices for sedation during surgeries, after creating a monopoly in its Denver and Durango markets. 

AG Weiser told The Denver Post that the company forced doctors to keep working with them by buying their practices and making them sign non-compete agreements. The hospitals also had to sign exclusive contracts. 

USAP has to terminate its contracts with the hospitals in the state and pay a $200,000 fine, which Colorado will use to educate consumers and reimburse people where possible.

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Aurora City Council doesn’t want any more migrants and unhoused people

Aurora City Council passed resolutions Monday night that restrict the city’s support for migrants and the unhoused community.

The resolution states that the city does not have the intention nor the funds to become a sanctuary city and also urges other cities not to send any migrants or unhoused people to Aurora.

According to The Denver Post, public comments asked the council to reject the resolution, but members still voted 7-3 in favor of it.

 Councilman Steve Sundberg compared Aurora to Colorado Springs, which recently passed a similar resolution, and asked the public not to call Aurora’s decision racist.

Aurora declared in 2017 that it was not a sanctuary city. Amanda Blaurock, co-founder and executive director of the Village Exchange Center, also pointed out that 20% of Aurora’s residents are immigrants and refugees.

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Non-profit in Nederland takes steps towards new childcare center

The non-profit TEEN Inc., which operates a preschool in Nederland, is one step closer to opening a childcare center in addition to the preschool.

According to The Daily Camera, the Nederland trustees approved the center’s special use review on February 20th. About 60 children and 10 infants could enroll in the center located on the Old Town Shop site.

There have already been many mixed reactions, with supporters saying it will improve the critical childcare situation in the mountain area and draw families into the town. Opponents say that the site of the Old Town Shop is better used for affordable housing and that a center for children might change the neighborhood’s quiet character.

If everything goes according to plan, the non-profit expects to complete the facility by late 2025 or early 2026.

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Registration for Universal state-funded preschool starts tomorrow

The Colorado Department for Early Childhood announced yesterday that parents can register their children for the 2024-25 Preschool Program starting tomorrow, February 29th.

According to a press release, every child in Colorado can be registered for funding for up to 15 hours a week. A new addition to the program makes every child living at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines eligible for full-day funding of 30 hours of preschool a week.

Almost 2,000 providers take part in the program this time, and the improved enrollment process increases families’ access to the program 

 Read more.

Snow squalls delay 700 flights at DIA

Snowfall in Denver delayed about 700 flights on Tuesday.

According to The Daily Camera, the ground stop, which halted incoming flights to Denver, was lifted just before 11:20 am. The website FlightAware says there have been 708 delays at the Denver airport as of Tuesday 6 pm, and 18 cancellations. 

The airlines that experienced the most delays were United with 261, Southwest with 228, and SkyWest with 104 delays.

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Franziska Stangl

Franziska Stangl

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