Peak Health Alliance CEO resigns |

Peak Health Alliance CEO resigns

An already tight timeline still could hinder the ability to offer plans on the individual market next year

Dylan Anderson
Steamboat Pilot & Today
Peak Health Alliance CEO Claire Brockbank explains how the group works to lower health care premiums during a meeting with community stakeholders Oct. 7, 2021.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The CEO of Peak Health Alliance is stepping down to take a job with a New York-based health collaborative.

CEO Claire Brockbank has been with Peak Health since its inception, helping start the health care purchasing cooperative in Summit County in 2018. She helped lead the company’s expansion into seven Colorado counties during her tenure.

Routt County has been the newest effort. Talks with UCHealth about a new fee schedule — a pivotal step to Peak Health’s process — started last month, with the local steering committee receiving its first proposal Monday, March 21.

On Monday, members of the steering committee told county commissioners that the proposal was disappointing but added that talks would continue. After Peak Health made an announcement of Brockbank’s departure Thursday, March 24, she agreed to remain involved.

“We are in the midst of a negotiation, and that is not when you switch horses,” Brockbank said.

Though she agreed to help with the transition, Brockbank will move into a role with 32BJ Health Fund in New York. The company provides health benefits to about 200,000 members of a union, which represents low-wage workers — like window washers and janitors — primarily in New York City.

She said the fund reached out to her because they are having trouble increasing wages for workers. Brockbank said they took a similar approach to Peak Health regarding the issue.

“They want to essentially create a pooled purchasing effort to negotiate with the hospitals,” she said. “One of their hospitals in New York gave their CEO a $6 million bonus last year during COVID. That’s crazy.”

Peak Health’s board of directors is expected to install an interim CEO quickly, potentially by the end of the week, Brockbank said.

Brockbank said she is slated to start the new role based in New York on June 1 and that she is committed to helping the Routt County steering committee work out a fee schedule with UCHealth and find a carrier to offer plans.

“Those are the two big milestones that I will stay committed to help Routt achieve,” Brockbank said.

Brockbank said that fee schedule will be taken to potential carriers to see how the new deal can lower premiums. While hospitals are generally the single biggest cost, there are other costs through other providers, pharmacies and the carriers themselves that need to be considered.

Carriers generally have three deadlines, with preliminary rates due in April, secondary rates later in the spring and the final deadline in late June.

“Some carriers say it’s already too late,” Brockbank said.

Another factor is that providers and carriers are having to sift through some additional requirements in place this year because of the Colorado Option law, which was passed last year.

“The Colorado Option is going to be a great thing, but it has created a few challenges that maybe wouldn’t have been in place in other years,” Routt County Commissioner Beth Melton said.

Monday’s proposal from the hospital — which has not been shared publicly — likely wouldn’t make a compelling case to carriers that would offer lower premiums, Brockbank said.

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