May 6, 2022
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 Thank you for your interest!
A Message from the Executive Director
May is Mental Health Awareness Month 

This month presents an opportunity to underscore the importance of our comprehensive, collaborative work to develop an equitable, accountable and effective behavioral health system that improves the health and well-being of Coloradans. It also serves as an opportunity to celebrate all the amazing work in process to achieve this shared goal. Consider this:  
Investment. First, we want to thank the Polis-Primavera Administration and the legislature for continued investments in Medicaid’s behavioral health budget, with a funding increase of over $400 million since 2018, and a behavioral health budget over $1 billion for the 2022-23 fiscal year. We also invite you to celebrate the $450 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding approved by the Polis-Primavera Administration and the legislature, generated from the Behavioral Health Transformation Task Force Recommendations report and designed to transform the behavioral health system to the betterment of all Coloradans.  
Legislation. These transformational investments are memorialized in a host of bills moving through the legislature this 2022 session. These bills establish the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) HB22-1278, improve access and quality outcomes, invest in local behavioral health programs, enhance physical and behavioral health integration with Department grants HB22-1302, invest in the establishment of universal contracts, create transparency into pay disparities and opportunities to close those disparities HB22-1268, redefine the safety net, improve care for historically marginalized communities and more.  
Community Mental Health Center (CMHC) and Safety Net Accountability and Efficiency. The Department is also working to increase behavioral health provider accountability and relationship modernization in four areas: (1) new cost reporting templates, protocols and technical assistance will be released this month and will be used to calculate reimbursement rates for CMHCs effective July 1, 2023, expanding to all safety net providers the next year; (2) a universal contract will define obligations of safety net providers in meeting the needs of their communities while also holding payers like Medicaid and the BHA more accountable to behavioral health providers; (3) value based payments will align with universal contracts and will create and reward shared patient outcome and health equity goals; and (4) providers will identify opportunities to reduce administrative burden for discussion with HCPF, CDHS and the BHA.  
Health Equity. HCPF’s Health Disparities, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Officer testified on May 2 about the importance of statewide mental health equity efforts.  
Thank you for your collaborative efforts to revitalize, strengthen and transform our behavioral health system and increase accountability across all aspects of the industry. We appreciate your partnership and your passionate engagement. 

Breaking News
Update Your Address Messaging Toolkit:
The purpose of this toolkit is to provide our community partners, stakeholders, and advocates with messaging and resources to encourage Health First Colorado and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) members to update their contact information. This toolkit is particularly important to prepare members for upcoming updates to the renewal process for Health First Colorado.

This toolkit was a collaborative effort among the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing and advocates, with review and input from Health First Colorado and CHP+ members. Partners using this toolkit may modify the language to fit their specific communication vehicles; however, the messaging in these resources should remain the same to ensure consistency.

Please note that highlighted text indicates areas where partner organizations should insert their organization’s name and information if they provide enrollment assistance. Contact information for a partner organization that could help with enrollment can also be inserted. Please delete these lines if they do not apply to your organization.
English and Spanish versions of all messaging and graphics are available. 

Thank you for helping us spread the word!
New Federal Poverty Level Charts:
Income guidelines are now available for the Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) Medicaid program and the Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) program effective April 1, 2022.
Antiviral Information for Providers:
If your facility is not currently enrolled in COVID-19 Antiviral Distribution, we would like to encourage you to participate and complete this form to initiate the process. Interested sites must already be licensed by the Colorado State Board of Pharmacy to dispense outpatient medications.

Find a list of all pharmacies distributing antivirals on CDPHE’s Information about outpatient COVID-19 therapeutics for health care providers webpage

For new information on the federal Test to Treat program, refer to ASPR’s fact sheet. In this program, people can get tested for COVID-19 and—if they are positive and can get therapeutic treatments—receive a prescription from an on-site health care provider and have their prescription filled all in one location. Patients can also bring their own positive result from at-home tests or outside testing locations. To indicate interest in this program, email
New Community First Choice Newsletter:
Have you signed up yet for the new Community First Choice (CFC) Newsletter? It's where you will find all the latest updates on project news, stakeholder engagement, and more! Stay up to date with CFC by signing up for the CFC updates Email List. For more information visit the CFC Webpage or email us.
Test to Stay:
Test to Stay is an optional program to help students and staff continue in-person learning after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Test to Stay will provide another testing resource to help reduce the burden on students, staff and parents. 

Test to Stay is an optional program intended to help students and staff avoid quarantine for those who have school-associated exposures to COVID-19. 

For more information, visit the Test to Stay webpage.
COVID-19 vaccine updates:
The CDC has approved an additional booster dose for people who may be at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19. People over the age of 50 can now get an additional booster four months after their prior dose to increase their protection.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully approved the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 31, 2022. The Moderna vaccine has been available under emergency use authorization (EUA) for individuals 18 years of age and older since Dec. 18, 2020.

The COVID-19 Pfizer booster is approved for anyone 12 and older. The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment encourages all Coloradans age 12 and up to get a booster dose as soon as possible if it has been at least six months since they got their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or at least two months since they got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

As a reminder, children ages 5-11 are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines and boosters are common practice in routine childhood vaccination. Many vaccines require multiple doses at specific intervals to be most effective. Anyone with questions about boosters is encouraged to speak with their health care provider.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and boosters and where to find them. Anyone who needs help making a vaccine appointment should call 1-877-268-2926. Health First Colorado members who need help finding a ride to get to a vaccine appointment can use the Non-Emergent Medical Transportation benefit.
Helpful Resources
Female provider, kneeling next to parents holding small child.
In March 2022, there were
1,590,634 Coloradans enrolled in Health First Colorado and
51,653 enrolled in Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+).