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TopCounty Connections
April 20, 2016                                                                                       
In This Issue
County Incentives Program
FY 2016-17 Contract Amendments
FY 16-17 Contract Amendments ready beginning of May 2016

The Department will send contract amendments for the FY2016-17 County Incentives Program directly to all county directors by May 9, 2016. If any additional delay occurs, the Department will contact county directors.

Counties will have from the time of receipt of the contract amendments through June 15, 2016 to receive official county approval to participate in the FY 2016-17 County Incentives Program.  If Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) approval is required, the Department encourages the county to begin the local approval process. Contract amendments should be returned to the Department no later than June 15, 2016.

Instructions for returning the contract amendments to the Department will be included.

The program will be implemented on July 1, 2016 and will end on June 30, 2017.

More information on the County Incentives Program can be found on the County Administration website or by contacting the HCPF County Relations team.
County Grant Program
FY 2016-17 Grant Applications
FY 16-17 Grant Applications released late April 2016

The County Grant Program will release grant applications for FY 2016-17 towards the end of April 2016.

County departments of human/social services will have from May 1, 2016 through May 30, 2016 to complete their applications. 

Applications are due to the Department no later than May 31, 2016.

Interviews for the FY 2016-17 County Grant Program will take place in June 2016.  The Department will score grant applications and notify grant winners by June 30, 2016.  

Grant projects can begin on July 1, 2016 and must be completed by June 30, 2017.

More information on the County Grant Program is found on the County
 website or by contacting the HCPF County Relations team.
County Training Opportunities
Staff Development Center:

Expanding Foundations Medical Assistance - Counties and MA Sites - Denver Metro

May 9, 2016 - 
May 12, 2016
8:30am - 4:00pm

Expanding Foundations Long Term Care - Denver Metro

May 11, 2016 - 
May 12, 2016
8:30am - 4:00pm

Online through TrainColorado:

Building Effective Relationships

Civil Rights

Client ID State ID

Colorado Address Confidentiality Program

IRS 1095-B Health Coverage Video

Medicaid Buy-In

PEAK Health App 

Single Streamlined Applications (SSAp) 101

Understanding Poverty

Your Road to Resources

Department of Health Care Policy and Financing:

Other trainings not mentioned above may qualify for the HCPF Training Incentive. Contact the County Relations team for more questions on the Training Incentive.
Quick Links and Resources
Medicaid and CHP+ Rules and Guidance

Volume 8 - Rules - direct link to Secretary of State

HCPF Forms and Rules

HCPF Agency and Directors Letters

HCPF FAQs and Training

HCPF County Relations

CBMS Enhancement Sheets - OIT

Staff Development Center

Training Calendar

Welcome to the April 2016 edition of County Connections!

Welcome to the newest edition of the  County Connections newsletter.  The content in this newsletter is designed to inform county directors, management, and staff in areas such as county performance, process improvement, collaboration, policy updates, upcoming due dates and more.  

The content will continue to evolve.  We encourage our county partners to give us your content suggestions.  Feedback can be sent to the  HCPF County Relations team.

Please feel free to share County Connections with your colleagues by selecting forward this email  at the bottom of this page.

Breaking News - Policy and Process Updates

County Communications Update for FY 2016-17
County Relations team will update county contacts for FY2016-17 

The HCPF County Relations team will be updating the Department's county contact lists for the 2016-17 fiscal year.  Each county director will receive a County Communications Update form which requests the county provide specific points-of-contact for different areas of the county department.  The County Communications Update form will request contact information for the following individuals and reasons:

County Contact(s) Purpose
County  Provide County Department Name, Physical Address, Mailing Address, Medical Assistance Phone Number, Medical Assistance Fax Number for the Department website.

Available To: General Public at
County Director General Director's communications, Incentives/Grants communications.

Available To: Department Staff
Secondary Director Contacts, i.e., deputy directors, managers and supervisors Will be included when a Director's communication is sent out; for escalations and other communications not requiring director involvement.

Available To: Department Staff
County Connections  Staff who should receive the monthly HCPF county communication newsletter.

Available To: Department Staff
Open Enrollment Escalation For client case escalations during Open Enrollment.

Available To:  Department Staff, Connect for Health Colorado and Brokers 
Medical Assistance (MA) Site Liaison
For multi-program case updates and escalations.  

Available To: Department Staff and Medical Assistance Sites
Deceased Client(s) Department will share Regional Care Collaborative Organizations (RCCOs) reported client deaths to ensure cases are closed at the county level.

Available To: Department Staff
Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS)/Long Term Care (LTC) supervisor and lead For communications regarding LTSS/LTC issues and disability determination communications.

Available To:  Department Staff, Single Entry Points (SEPs), and Community Centered Boards (CCBs)
Child Welfare For children receiving Medicaid benefits who are also involved in the Child Welfare system.

Available To:  Department Staff
Audits To ensure Audits communications are routed to the correct contacts.

Utilizers: Department Staff
COLD Report  COLD Reports list Medicaid expenditures in a county; report is automatically sent to Directors and any additional contacts the county provides.

Available To: Department Staff

If you have any questions, contact the HCPF County Relations team.

HCPF Agency Letter 16-001
Consideration of Trust in Determining Medical Assistance Eligibility

The purpose of this agency letter is to notify County eligibility sites of a new Declaration of Income Trust form. Additionally, the revised income trust packet offers clearer guidance on completing the new form, more detail on trustee responsibilities, and instructions for closing the trust when no longer needed for Medicaid eligibility.

HCPF Agency Letter 16-001 can be accessed by clicking on the below links:

Instructions for Completing the Income Trust form
Notice of Income Trust Closure
Income Trust Ledger 

If you have any questions, contact the Medicaid Eligibility Inbox.

Introduction to COGNOS - Virtual Training
COGNOS Virtual Instructor Led Training

This part-day introductory course will prepare staff to accurately search for and use reports found in COGNOS. This course will ensure that eligibility site staff can locate reports on production and status of cases in the Colorado Benefits Management System (CBMS). It will also offer instruction on maintaining user credentials and account management.

Please note: CBMS access is a prerequisite to this course. Experienced users can request an exemption from completing the CBMS access requirements by registering for the COGNOS Prerequisites Waiver Request course. For the purposes of this waiver, an experienced user is an individual who currently has CBMS access and has had it for at least one year.

This course is available online through the Train Colorado website for the following dates/times:

April 21, 2016, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
April 26, 2016, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
April 28, 2016, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
May 4, 2016, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
May 10, 2016, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
May 12, 2016, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The Department highly recommends that for the purposes of maintaining and tracking caseloads for the County Incentives Program, each county should participate in this training to ensure the correct reports are pulled to properly maintain the county's caseload.

If you have any questions about the COGNOS training, contact the Staff Development Center.  

For questions about the County Incentives Program, contact the HCPF County Relations team.

Client Correspondence Survey
Survey Open Until April 28, 2016

Do you want to improve the language, look, and feel of eligibility-related client correspondence generated through the Colorado Benefits Management System (CBMS)? So do we! The Departments of Health Care Policy & Financing and Human Services, Connect for Health Colorado and the Governor's Office of Information Technology are partnering to work toward this shared goal, and we want to hear from you!
This project has three primary goals.
  1. Reduce consumer confusion by improving the readability, accessibility and understandability of current eligibility-related client correspondence. 
  2. Develop best practices and guidelines for improving client communications in the future.
  3. Reduce eligibility partner workload by minimizing time spent answering questions resulting from confusing and unclear client correspondence. 
To accomplish these goals, we need feedback from our partners and stakeholders, like you, whose experience with eligibility processes and with helping clients understand complex correspondence is essential to this effort. To gather this feedback, we have engaged Joining Vision and Action (JVA) to create and analyze a survey.
This brief and anonymous survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. We will use the data from the survey responses to improve the language and format of client correspondence.
The survey can be accessed by clicking the following link:
The survey closes on Thursday, April 28 at 5:00 pm. Please complete the survey and share the link with your colleagues.
We appreciate your time and input.

Federal Match for Medicaid Expansion
Clarification on the Federal Enhanced Match and Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP)

What is the difference between the Federal enhanced match and FMAP?
The federal enhanced match, part of the Federal Financial Participation (FFP) rate, refers to the funding that is utilized by counties for eligibility and enrollment activities through the county administration line item.  The FMAP rate refers to the amount the Federal government pays for medical claims of Medicaid clients.

When will the federal match (FMAP) for the expansion end? 
Under current law the federal match doesn't "end".  Current law allows for enhanced federal matching funds for states who expand Medicaid. This refers to the FMAP rate for expansion clients.  The enhanced federal matching funds (FMAP) in current law do not have an expiration date and phase down over several years from 100% to 90% by 2020.  Federal matching funds related to the Medicaid expansion are set in federal law; any changes would happen at the Congressional level and then be signed by the President.  Below is the chart showing the federal share phasing down to 90%.
2014 - 100% federal funds
2015 - 100% federal funds
2016 - 100% federal funds
2017 - 95%; 5% hospital provider fee funds
2018 - 94%; 6% hospital provider fee funds
2019 - 93%; 7% hospital provider fee funds
2020 ongoing - 90%; 10% hospital provider fee funds
What happens during the phasing down of federal funds? 
As the federal match eases down to 90% by 2020 (it stays at 90% ongoing), the State's share of costs will be paid for with hospital provider fee funds so Medicaid expansion does not impact the General Fund.
What does this phasing down of federal funds mean for counties?
The process for financing counties through FFP for Medicaid eligibility work remains the same during the tapering of FMAP funds.  As in year's past, county administrative funds, including the FFP's federal enhanced match, go to the General Assembly for consideration. 

County Performance
Timeliness for March 2016
Timeliness numbers for the month of March 2016 are in! 

Timeliness for all Medical Assistance applications for the month measured at 98.06 percent.   The Department and its county partners have registered 21 consecutive months above 95% timeliness.

Timeliness for all Medical Assistance redeterminations for the month was measured at 96.95 percent.   The Department and its county partners have registered 2 consecutive months above 95% timeliness.

This could not have been accomplished without the hard work of our county partners. Many thanks!

Medicaid Eligibility Quality Improvement Plan (MEQIP)
MEQIP FY 2015-16 Annual Report

As part of the County Incentives Program, counties must submit their quarterly and annual reports on the specified due dates in order to earn MEQIP Reporting incentives funds.  

The MEQIP FY 2015-16 Annual Reports were due on March 31, 2016. Annual Reports are currently being reviewed and documented; the Department will provide an update in next month's County Connections on which counties submitted their Annual Reports timely.

More information about MEQIP can be found on the website.  For assistance on MEQIP reporting, contact Gina Martinez.

Note: MEQIP reporting on County Connections represents a point-in-time.  If you have made corrections and/or other arrangements with the MEQIP program manager, they may not be reflected in County Connections at the time of publication.

Public Assistance Reporting Information System (PARIS)
PARIS expenditures in FY 2015-16 - As of February 29, 2016

Each fiscal year, the ten counties with the most cases listed in the PARIS system are allotted additional funds in order to work these cases.  This system is critical to determining if a beneficiary is receiving benefits in multiple states, and if so, whether the client's case in Colorado should be closed or remain open.

As of February 29, 2016, these counties have only spent 34.6% of the state-wide allotment. Breakdown by counties is listed below.

County % of PARIS Allotment Spent
Adams 54.0%
Arapahoe 22.1%
Boulder 19.9%
Denver 27.1%
El Paso 30.9%
Jefferson 2.3%
Larimer 68.2%
Mesa 47.6%
Pueblo 36.4%
Weld 72.2%

The Department encourages these counties to utilize the funding allotted to them to work those cases listed in the PARIS system.

For more information regarding PARIS, contact Jared Shaffer, PARIS Program Manager.

Process Improvements
FY 2015-16 County Grant Program:  Northwest Colorado Regional Collaboration
10 NE Counties create regional collaboration to fill staff vacancies, provide training and perform Quality Assurance (QA) functions

As part of the FY 2015-16 County Grant Program, the Northeast Colorado Regional Collaboration, consisting of Eagle, Garfield, Grand, Jackson, Lake, Moffat, Pitkin, Rio Blanco, Routt and Summit Counties requested funding to continue their collaborative pilot that featured a floating eligibility technician that fills staff vacancies throughout the 10-county region, provides over-the-shoulder training and support, and performs QA functions to ensure accuracy of cases.

The scope of the pilot project includes:
  • Supporting the 10 northwest counties to maintain quality services levels during vacancies, both short- and long-term.
  • Examining the challenges and opportunities in these counties related to staffing patterns, emergency staffing assistance and staff training in an effort to create long-term, sustainable recruitment and retention strategies.
  • Testing mobile workforce and training strategies, across all ten collaborating counties, to fill-in staff in emergency situations and support newly trained staff to learn the skills as quickly as possible to become competent in their new positions.
  • Identifying long-term monetary and in-kind resources to support the model after the one year pilot period.
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the pilot through additional resources available through the Work Support Strategies grant.
More information on the NE Colorado Regional Collaboration can be found in the FY 2015-16 County Grant Program:   Project Summaries.

Questions regarding the County Grant Program can be directed to the HCPF County Relations team.

FY2015-16 County Incentives Program:  Collaboration Overview for Reporting Period 1
Initial Analysis of Collaboration Partners Complete

Through the County Incentives Program, counties earn incentives funds if they collaborate with three approved partners at least once a quarter, with 2-3 shared goals.  The Department has completed an initial analysis of how many counties are collaborating with each approved partner as detailed in the table below.

Collaboration Partner
Number of Counties Collaborating
Behavioral Health Organization (BHO)
Local Public Health Agency (LPHA)
Medical Assistance Site
Regional Care Collaborative Organization (RCCO)
Connect for Health Colorado
Hospital/Clinic serving County
Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC)
Private Practice Provider serving County
Community Mental Health Center (CMHC)
Long Term Care facility serving County
Single Entry Point (SEP)
Sheriff/Local Law
Ute Moutain Ute/Southern Ute

Department Updates
Colorado Indigent Care Program (CICP):  Stakeholder Forum
Stakeholder Forum

The next Stakeholder Forum for CICP is scheduled for Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 9:00am and will be held at 303 E. 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80203 in Conference Room 11AB.

Meeting handouts will be posted a few days prior to the meeting to the Colorado Indigent Care Program Stakeholder Form Page click on Meeting Schedule and Handouts.

Call In Information
Dial access number: 1-877-820-7831
Dial room number:  496143#
*6 to mute or un-mute your line

Measuring Health in Adults 65 and Over:  Colorado 2016
Department releases report

We want you to be aware of the Department's recent report on older adults, entitled "Measuring Health in Adults 65 and Over: Colorado 2016."  The report has been published and is now on the Department website.  Please click on the link above to view or download the report.
This report is a product of the Colorado Cross-Agency Collaborative The Colorado Department of Human Services, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing partnered to form the Colorado Cross-Agency Collaborative. The Collaborative was created as part of Governor Hickenlooper's efforts to make Colorado the Healthiest State in the Nation. The Collaborative is producing a series of focused reports using metrics from the state agencies that focus on health issues in Colorado.  Prior reports have focused on Child Health and Behavioral Health.

Department of Health Care Policy and Financing:  2015 Annual Report
2015 Annual Report Now Available

Our 2015 Department Annual Report, A Year of Integration, Building a Healthier Tomorrow Together is now available on our website. 
The report contains information on Department initiatives and expenditures, demographic information and inspirational stories and quotes from our providers and Medicaid members.

Partner Updates
2016 Bridging the Divide:  Suicide Awareness & Prevention Summit
From Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado

May 4-6, 2016 - Regis University Lowell Campus (Denver)

This state-wide conference will examine promising evidence-based practices that decrease the likelihood that suicide will occur, assist those who struggle with suicidal thinking, and help survivors of suicide loss regain their equilibrium following a loved one's suicide attempt or death.

Learn more and register today at the Suicide Prevention Colorado website.

Disability Rights Notice
The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing does not discriminate against any person on the basis of disability in its programs, services, and activities. 

To meet the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), the Department adopted operating procedure ADA001 Disability Rights Policy and Grievance Procedure. More information including a copy of this policy is available on the Department's website. Printable copies of the Disability Rights Notice in English and Spanish are also available on the website. 

For further information or to file a discrimination complaint contact:
504/ADA Coordinator
Health Care Policy & Financing
1570 Grant Street
Denver, Colorado 80203
Telephone: 303-866-6010
FAX: 303-866-2828
State Relay: 711