April 5, 2021
At a Glance is a Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (Department) publication that provides information on major initiatives, policy changes and program updates. Feel free to share At a Glance with your colleagues. Find previous editions of At a Glance on the Department website at colorado.gov/hcpf/publications. Thank you for your interest!
A Message from the Executive Director
Our State’s Progress & Building Back Stronger Together

We had good news with the release of the most recent revenue forecast by the Office of State Planning and Budget. Overall, Colorado’s economy is starting to improve, the vaccine rollout is well underway, and the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) will bring much needed financial relief to Colorado families, businesses, and state and local government, while further boosting the vaccine rollout. Additionally, the Colorado General Assembly is considering a stimulus package to further help our economy rebound.  

The new forecast informed the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) as they work to finalize the state and the Department’s budgets through the “Long Bill,” which will be debated this month. Given the improving outlook, several budget reductions that were originally needed to balance the Department's budget were not moved forward by the JBC; further, Department priorities and important strategic investments were approved.   

While we are pleased with the improving economic outlook, there are troubling signs in the forecast, including the fact that not all Coloradans are rebounding equally. Lower wage workers – our members - still have higher unemployment rates than medium and higher wage workers. Throughout this month, Governor Polis is part of a bipartisan statewide outreach tour, focused on helping the economy recover to Build Back Stronger, which could fuel investments that address this concerning reality.  

As we build back, and as we continue to fight COVID-19 through vaccine rollout, we can’t leave anyone behind. That is why we are working with our Regional Accountable Entities, Single Entry Points and Community Centered Boards to reach out to our homebound members to help them schedule vaccine appointments or bring the vaccine to them as needed. We will be partnering with our Regional Accountable Entities to do additional outreach to vaccine hesitant communities as well.   

But we can’t do this work alone – we need your help. As leaders, your credible, community voice matters and your example matters. I’m so proud to see so many of you posting and sharing about why getting the vaccine is important. Please also continue your local conversations to drive continual improvements in equitable vaccine uptake and feel free to direct community members to CDPHE vaccine resources for assistance.  

Thank you again for your partnership in helping battle the virus, open our economy, address health disparities, and help all Coloradans rise and thrive.  

Breaking News
Connect for Health Colorado Uninsured Enrollment Period toolkit:

Connect for Health Colorado has opened an Uninsured Enrollment Period to help as many people as possible protect their health and safety during this time. Coloradans who are currently uninsured and don’t qualify for Health First Colorado can sign up for a health insurance plan through May 15, 2021.
Please help us spread the word!

Community partners can easily find social media graphics/copy, newsletter copy and virtual brochures in our new toolkit: http://bit.ly/UEPtoolkit
New Telemedicine Report Available:

The Department’s Telemedicine Evaluation Report is now available on the Department’s website. This report summarizes the research and work completed by the Department from June 2020 through December 2020. It contains an evaluation of the policy changes in telemedicine since the beginning of the pandemic and what we know thus far about the impacts on access to care and utilization, health equity, quality and member outcomes, and payment and reimbursement.

For more information visit hcpf.colorado.gov/. The fee-for-service telemedicine utilization data is posted on a bi-monthly basis and is on the provider telemedicine webpage.
Redesigned Website Launched:

HCPF's newly redesigned public website launched on March 31 with a new content management system and a new, more modern look. This project involved migrating more than 600 web pages and nearly 7,000 documents, making every page on the site more accessible to visitors with disabilities and fully usable on mobile devices. And while the site will now live at a new hcpf.colorado.gov address, all existing links to the site will forward to their new address transparently.

The HCPF website is our primary and most visible form of external communications to our many audiences, with an average of 100,000 people visiting the site every month. We believe the improved functionality and ease of use will not only benefit our member, provider, and stakeholder audiences, but also HCPF staff who need to get information posted quickly and easily.

We'd welcome hearing your comments about the site. Please let us know what you think via our Website Feedback form.
Operational Excellence
Return Mail Update:

The Department listened to eligibility sites on how we can help improve the returned mail process. Prowers County is the Consolidated Return Mail Center (CRMC) vendor, located in Granada, CO, within Prowers County. The CRMC is different from Prowers County's Department of Human Services.

The CRMC is following established processes and policies. Phase 1 has only included Medical Assistance cases. The pilot started December 2020, which included Prowers, Montrose, and El Paso counties. We have broken counties up into cohorts based on data from the volume of returned mail.

We added Pueblo, Otero and Crowley on Feb 13. It takes approximately 10 days for the first piece of returned mail to show up at the CRMC. The CRMC staff is having no problems keeping up with the added volume; therefore, we are moving forward with cohort 3: Grand, Moffat, Montezuma, Logan, Phillips, Las Animas, Washington, Baca, Bent and Sedgwick counties.

Before the Department brings on a new cohort, we reach out and schedule a welcome/orientation meeting to introduce the county to the CRMC staff and processes, as well as share resources and answer any questions.

Phase 2 is scheduled for summer of 2021 and will include Colorado Department of Human Services programs.
Reasonable Opportunity Period:

Please note we have made changes to the Colorado Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) and Non-MAGI programs' Reasonable Opportunity Period (ROP) time frame for income verification discrepancies.

The Department has changed the time frame of the ROP, narrowing it from 90 to 30 days in which a member needs to provide proof of an income discrepancy.

Net Operating Loss:

Net operating Loss (NOL) has been added as a new allowable deduction for MAGI-based programs. CBMS has been updated to now allow entry of an NOL for MAGI programs. Members can now report an NOL to help lower an individual’s adjusted gross income.

For more information, read the memo: Net Operating Loss Deduction for MAGI-Based Programs.
Health Care Affordability
Hospital Transformation Program Update:

Hospital HTP Application and Portal Training
On March 4, the Department hosted a training for HTP participating hospitals to go over the HTP hospital application process and an orientation of the submission portal. As a reminder, per a special communication from Executive Director Kim Bimestefer in November 2020, the HTP implementation date was moved to April 1, 2021. The training is posted on the HTP website.

Program Updates
We’d like to remind program participants that updated documents related to HTP implementation have been posted to the HTP website:

  • Hospital application and intervention proposal documents.
  • HTP scoring framework, including an updated timeline, at-risk tables and benchmark methodologies by measure.
  • Measure specification detail.
  • Hospital Index Measure guidance. 

Please direct any questions about these updated documents to the HTP inbox.

Updates from the Office of eHealth Innovation (OeHI)
This week, several updates of interest to hospitals and stakeholders came from OeHI.

New Care Coordination Resources
As part of Colorado's Health IT Roadmap Care Coordination Initiative, OeHI and the eHealth Commission developed new resources to increase collaboration, alignment and coordination of efforts. See below and please share with your networks.

The Social-Health Information Exchange (S-HIE) white paper titled Advancing a Coordinated Ecosystem for a Social Health Information Exchange (S-HIE) aims to create a shared vision among Colorado stakeholders interested in improving whole-person care coordination.

The Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) Screening Guide titled Implementation Guidance For Screening for Social Determinants of Health in an Electronic Health Record aims to support health care providers (such as community health centers, independent practices, health systems and community mental health centers) interested in screening for SDoH and documenting the results in an electronic health record.

Both resources are available on OeHI’s Care Coordination page.

State's Prescriber Tool- Licenses Available
As part of Colorado's Health IT Roadmap efforts to support the Polis-Primavera Administration's bold priorities to improve access to affordable and high quality health care, the Department is providing a limited number of FREE licenses to the state's prescriber tool to eligible Health First Colorado providers. This is phase one of several phases that leverage foundational health IT infrastructure, policies and innovations. Request a free prescriber tool license.

CHASE Board meeting
The next Colorado Healthcare Affordability and Sustainability Enterprise (CHASE) Board meeting will take place via webinar on Tuesday, March 23 at 3 p.m. Additional information about the board, as well as meeting materials, is on the CHASE Board website.
Helpful Resources
Female provider, kneeling next to parents holding small child.
In February 2021, there were
1,439,006 Coloradans enrolled in Health First Colorado and
63,468 enrolled in Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+).