July 7, 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
Partnership Powers Policy   
 
Thank you for your collaboration on advancing policies to improve health care equity, access and outcomes while saving people money on health care this legislative session. We appreciate the hard work of our elected officials, advocates, providers and stakeholders who brought passion, insights and expertise to create effective policy.  
 
With your help, the Department was successful in passing our full legislative agenda to enhance telemedicine policy, build out a high performing cross-disability care coordination system, expand skilled nursing facilities where they are needed most, add remote supports for adults in home and community based services waivers, and expand our drug importation program as part of our broader affordability goals.  

We are also pleased that bills the Department supported passed, including establishing the Behavioral Health Administration, Prescription Drug Affordability Board, State Health Equity Plan and the Colorado Option. We were also pleased to see the updates to the Governor's Office of Information Technology statutes to better drive technology efficiencies, the movement of regulatory authority to the Department to support better health care billing for indigent patients, and the package of maternity health bills.  
 
Thank you, as well, to the nearly 800 stakeholders who helped inform the Department’s draft spending plan for the American Rescue Plan Act’s Home & Community Based Services enhanced federal match, which was submitted to the federal government in mid-June. We appreciate the 375 comments you sent and the 428 survey responses.  
 
For Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program), legislation passed to allow us to also use American Rescue Plan Act funding to extend pregnancy-related and postpartum services for a full year and add secure transportation for those experiencing behavioral health crises. 
 
Last, I want to ask for your continued help in closing the significant health disparities in vaccine uptake for our Health First Colorado members. We appreciate your collaboration, continued targeted outreach and community-based partnership. 

Kim  
Breaking News
Health and Human Services Launches Hotlines to Improve Access to COVID-19 Vaccines for People with Disabilities:

On June 8, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind national hotline to connect people with disabilities to information and services to improve access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) is now available to help people with disabilities find vaccination locations in their communities, assist callers with making vaccination appointments, and connect callers to local services – such as accessible transportation – to overcome barriers to vaccination. The hotline also can provide information and resources to answer questions and address concerns about the vaccines and can connect callers to information and services that promote independent living and address fundamental needs, such as food, housing, and transportation.

For more information, visit acl.gov/dial  or call 888-677-1199.  
Health Care Affordability
Hospital Transformation Program Update:

Implementation Plan Template and Milestone Requirements
Hospitals participating in the HTP must submit an Implementation Plan detailing the strategies and steps they intend to take in implementing each of the intervention(s) outlined in their applications impacting the six program priority areas, as well as the quality measures across the five HTP Focus Areas. Implementation Plans must be submitted during the Implementation Submission Period (from Sept. 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2021) after approval of the hospital’s HTP application. Additional information about implementation plans, milestone requirements, interventions and timeline is in the Implementation Plan Template and Milestone Requirements document on the HTP website.
 
Application Review Oversight Committee  
On April 1, implementation of the HTP kicked-off with the beginning of the application period, which ran through April 30. Applications are now undergoing a process of review and feedback, and a final review by the Application Review Oversight Committee. Additional details about the application review process and the Application Review Oversight Committee were shared via a Department memo on the HTP webpage. 
 
Rural Support Fund Update
Pending approval from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HTP Rural Support Fund distributions will occur with Colorado Healthcare Affordability and Sustainability Enterprise (CHASE) Board reconciliation beginning in August 2021.
 
Funding for rural support payments will be $12,000,000 annually for each of the five years of the HTP, equaling $60 million in total funding. For each qualified hospital, the annual payment is equal to $12,000,000 divided by the total number of qualified hospitals. HTP Year 1 funding of $12 million will be paid out evenly between August and September 2021.
 
Community Advisory Council  
Community Advisory Council meetings continue to take place monthly with the next meeting taking place on Monday, June 21. Agendas, materials and notes from previous meetings are on the Community Advisory Council website.  
 
CHASE Board meeting
The next Colorado Healthcare Affordability and Sustainability Enterprise (CHASE) Board meeting will take place via Zoom (passcode: 059559) on Tuesday, June 23 at 3 p.m. Additional information about the board, as well as meeting materials, is on the CHASE Board website.
Operational Excellence
Mental Health Parity Report:

On June 1, the Department released the annual Mental Health Parity Report for State Fiscal Year 2020-2021, as required by Colorado Revised Statute section 25.5-5-421. The Department created this year’s annual report following the process for determining mental health parity compliance created by CedarBridge Group, the contractor selected to perform last year’s annual report. The report also includes findings from the external quality review audit providing an evaluation of Regional Accountable Entity and Managed Care Organization policies and procedures in operation. Additionally, the Department contracted with Myers and Stauffer to perform an independent assessment of the processes followed for the creation of the 2021 Mental Health Parity Report. 


For more information, contact Jeff Jaskunas 
Helpful Resources
Female provider, kneeling next to parents holding small child.
Enrollment
In May 2021, there were
1,477,219 Coloradans enrolled in Health First Colorado and
60,149 enrolled in Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+).