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KVNF Regional Newscast: February 14, 2024

Integrated Insight Community Care closed following allegations of patient safety
Lisa Young
Integrated Insight Community Care closed following allegations of patient safety

The recent closure of Integrated Insight Community Care came as a shock to nearly one hundred employees and its growing client population on the Western Slope. Over the past year, the multi-county behavioral health provider’s CEO Joel Watts came under scrutiny with the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing regarding numerous allegations over patient safety at the clinics.

Rocky Mountain Health Plans severed its contracts with Integrated in mid- January. Watts filed for and was granted a temporary injunction by the District Court in Grand Junction until February 2nd….when the clinics finally closed their doors.

Rocky Mountain Health Plans has established a call center, at 970-255-5660 to help patients and caregivers who are affected by the closure. In addition Colorado’s Behavioral Health Administration said it’s coordinating with Health Care Policy & Financing and Rocky Mountain Health Partners to ensure the continuity of services. A dedicated call center has been set up and can be contacted at 720-947-5076.

Ballots are headed to Colorado voters for the Presidential primary election. Election officials started mailing them out Monday. Colorado’s presidential primary will be held on March 5. All ballots must be submitted by 7pm that day. The primary election for state-level races, including Congressional races, is on June 25.

The League of Women Voters celebrates its 104th anniversary today. The League was founded in Chicago in 1920, six months before the 19th amendment was ratified and women won the vote. Formed by the suffragists of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, the League began as a "mighty political experiment" designed to help 20 million women carry out their new responsibilities as voters.

Starting this fall, Western Colorado University’s “Mountaineer Promise” program will cover tuition and mandatory fees for Colorado residents whose families make under $70,000 per year, reports the Montrose Daily Press. University President Brad Baca says the program is an important step toward making education accessible.The Mountaineer Promise program is one of multiple promise programs that have been rolled out in the state, including the CMU Promise from Grand Junction’s Colorado Mesa University that grants free tuition to Western Slope residents and some Ute Tribe members whose families make under $65,000 per year.

Delta County Commissioners approved a new behavioral health contract with Behavioral Health and Wellness out of Grand Junction. The previous contract was held by Integrated Insight, the county severed that contract at the first of the year.

Jackie Felix, who previously worked for Integrated, is now working under the Delta County Sheriff’s Office. Felix recommended the smaller Grand Junction based provider over larger Axis Health Care. Felix said staff at Behavioral Health and Wellness have prior corrections, law enforcement and military background giving them greater insight to the clients at the jail.

Commissioners approved the contracts in two time frames. The first contract running now through June 30th is roughly $239 thousand dollars, the second contract running the fiscal year from July first 2024 through June 30th 2025 is just over $106 thousand dollars.

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Lisa was born in Texas but grew up on a small farm in Olathe, Colorado and considers herself a “Colorado native after six years of age.” Lisa has seven years experience in media, beginning as a News Director for a small radio station on the Eastern Plains. Following her initial radio career, Lisa worked as a staff reporter for The Journal Advocate in Sterling, Colorado and most recently as a staff reporter for the Delta County Independent. Lisa is thrilled to join the award-winning News and Public Affairs team at KVNF.