December 1, 2020
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
Stakeholders, Advocates and Partners:

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought new focus to health, economic and racial disparities in our society. In Colorado, it is clear that people of color are facing higher COVID-19 hospitalization rates and all but the Asian community are experiencing significantly higher COVID-19 mortality rates. While the pandemic did not cause health inequities, the pandemic has shined a light on the disparities that exist. At the Department, we are facing these challenges head on through action we are taking in coordination with Governor Polis and other state agencies to effect real change. Our members are diverse, and we are dedicated to addressing health disparities among our members. 

Our Department’s budget requests for the 2021-22 fiscal year reflect this dedication, with a focus on addressing the state’s current budget shortfall while still protecting member benefits and services and addressing health care disparities.  

Budget request R24, Addressing Health Care Disparities, requests funding to address health disparities in the Medicaid program and Colorado by collecting data to identify health disparities by race and ethnicity and use the data to inform outcome-based value-based payments to Health First Colorado providers. The funding will support data transfer from community partners and provide data analytics to better target the efforts of community-based organizations, including outreach, training, and technical assistance.  

Other budget proposals address enrollment and cost projections for Health First Colorado and CHP+ in support of physical and behavioral health services, prescription drug benefits, and services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We will bring these budget requests to our Joint Budget Committee hearings in December. Budget proposals are not final until approved by the Colorado General Assembly and signed by Governor Polis in spring 2021. 

Also in support of equity, diversity and inclusion, we are proud to introduce our new Health Disparities and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Program Manager, Maileen Hamto. Maileen brings many years of experience in strategic communications, program development, and project management. Over the last decade, she has concentrated her professional efforts on leadership that serves people and a strategic approach to advancing equity and inclusion to provide opportunities and access for underserved and underrepresented communities. She has deep experience in health care, higher education, technology, and government. We are excited to explore new opportunities with Maileen for closing disparities to the benefit of our members while helping our own employees thrive. 
Our Department has also created an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which recently sponsored an interview with Cleo Parker Robinson, a tremendous leader in the African American community and in Arts-in-Education here in Colorado. I had the honor of meeting with her to discuss issues of equity, diversity and inclusion. Department staff were invited to attend and a recording of the interview will be available shortly. 
On behalf of myself and everyone at the Department, please know we are dedicated to making Colorado a healthier and more equitable place for everyone. I appreciate each of you and your partnership as we work together toward this common purpose. And to the betterment to our members and all Coloradans during this holiday season, thank you for sharing this critical message with your networks to reduce spread of COVID-19 and protect health and well-being during this holiday season. Thank you! 

Breaking News
Member Video Toolkit:
One in four Coloradans are covered by Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid Program). We want all Coloradans to know that we are here for them, and it's easy to apply for coverage. Please help us spread our message by sharing videos where real members tell their stories about getting quality health care through Health First Colorado. It's easy to share! Just visit our member video toolkit to find copy-and-paste messaging and videos to upload to your social media channels.
Children's Habilitation Residential Program (CHRP) changes:
Effective Nov. 30, 2020, per 10 CCR 2505-8.508, the following changes to the CHRP rules will be in effect:  
  • Host Home Providers are now allowed to serve youth 18 to 20 years of age for CHRP Habilitation. The Host Home must meet all requirements of Host Homes as defined in Regulation Section 8.600 and be contracted with a Program Approved Service Agency (PASA) that is an approved CHRP provider.  
  • In-Home Support in Transition and Intensive Support Services was changed to Child and Youth Mentorship. There are no other changes to the service.  
  • Supported Community Connections was changed to Community Connector. This service can now be provided on a unit or hours per year basis. The overall maximum is the same. The service is limited to 1,040 units or 260 hours per year.  
Effective January 1, 2020, there will be increases to the RCCF change. Please watch the Provider Rates and Fees for these updates.  
For more information, contact Kathleen Homan.
Mobile App Helps Fight COVID-19:
You can now download an app to help fight COVID-19, slow its spread, and protect yourself and your loved ones. CO Exposure Notifications will quickly notify you if you’ve likely been exposed to the virus, allowing you to seek timely medical attention and take action to protect others. 

The app is free and does not share your personal information. It can alert you if you have been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days. Visit to watch a short video about how it works and how to turn it on with Apple or Android devices.
Here for YOU, Colorado!
We have created educational materials and resources on our webpage, Here for YOU, Colorado! This page contains shareable content for websites, social media, emails and newsletters. The goal of our Here for YOU, Colorado! campaign is to spread the word about applying for Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+). 

We also have fresh content monthly featuring Coloradans who get their health care coverage through our programs, under “Ads” in the "For Coloradans Who Need Health Insurance" section of the webpage. November's featured member is Jasmine.

Thank you for helping us spread the word!
New Phone Number for Health First Colorado Working Adults and Children with Disabilities Buy-In Program Members:
The Health First Colorado Working Adults and Children with Disabilities Buy-In Programs now have a direct number for member questions about eligibility, premiums, and status: 1-800-711-6994. Please use this number for any Buy-In questions or concerns. Update:
The State of Colorado, led by the Department and in collaboration with Advancing States, is launching its latest update to

This release will open the site to home care and home health providers. The website is dedicated to matching long-term care providers with direct care workers and other medical professionals seeking jobs. Watch your news feeds for this exciting release in late October to early November!

For more information, visit the Connect to Care Jobs website.
Resources for Coloradans Impacted by COVID-19: can help connect Coloradans with services, funds and jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. This resource is the result of collaboration with the Governor's Office, state agencies, community partners and Bitwise Industries. Please visit the website and share with anyone who is struggling, or may need the help:  
Operational Excellence
Prescriber Tool Project:
The Department is implementing the Prescriber Tool, a multifunctional platform that will be accessible to all prescribers through most electronic health record (EHR) systems. The Prescriber Tool will help improve health outcomes, reduce administrative burden for prescribers and better manage prescription drug costs by providing patient-specific information to prescribers at the point of care. 

The Prescriber Tool is being implemented in modules which will provide different types of patient information or functionalities. 

Opioid Risk Module
The opioid risk module will be implemented first and is anticipated to be operational in January 2021. OpiSafe has been contracted to administer this module which will help prescribers prevent the misuse and abuse of opioids and benzodiazepines. The module will provide:
  • Easy access to Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) data 
  • Identification of Opioid Use Disorders (OUD)
  • Educational tools with access to evidence-based treatment
  • Tools for overdose prevention

Additional modules are expected to be implemented by summer 2021, including a module that will provide real-time, patient-specific pharmacy benefit information. 

Open Access License Program
In order to access the opioid risk module, each prescriber must have an individual license. To facilitate rapid adoption of the module, the Department will be awarding a limited number of user licenses free of charge to qualified Health First Colorado prescribers. The subsidized license will be valid for one year, thereafter prescribers will need to pay an annual license fee to OpiSafe. Please note, the Department is unable to assist with any EHR-related costs (if applicable) for accessing the opioid risk module.

The online application for the Open Access License Program will be available from Jan. 2 through March 1, 2021, or until all subsidized licenses have been awarded.
Once operational, the cost to prescribers for accessing the Prescriber Tool will vary depending on the specific module(s) and EHR utilized. Visit the Prescriber Tool Project webpage to apply for a user license, or for more information about the Prescriber Tool project.

For more information, email 
Transitions Stakeholder Advisory Council:
The Department invites all interested stakeholders to become involved and provide input on the future of transition services by participating in meetings of the Transitions Stakeholder Advisory Council.
The council provides feedback and recommendations to the Department regarding operational policy and procedural changes to transition services, including identifying barriers to successful transitions and potential solutions. All council meetings are open to the public with dedicated time each meeting for public comment regarding transition services. The council meets on the first Thursday of every month, 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Transitions Stakeholders Advisory Council Virtual/Phone Meeting Only 
Thursday, Dec. 3
2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. MT 
Join by Google Meets:
or by phone:
(470) 268-2030
PIN: 614 405 288 #
December Meeting Discussion Topic:
Rural Stakeholder Listening Session: This month's meeting will focus on the unique barriers to Transition Services faced by rural providers and members.
Transitions Stakeholder Advisory Council Webpage:
Please check the Transitions Stakeholder Advisory Council webpage to access the agenda and presentation slides for the November meeting. Previous meeting minutes and agendas are also available.
Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Settings Final Rule Open Meeting:
Colorado continues to work toward statewide compliance with the federal HCBS settings final rule. To that end, the Department has been hosting a series of open, informal stakeholder meetings to discuss (a) the draft rule that will codify within Colorado regulations the requirements of the federal rule and (b) an informed consent template with built-in guidance for providers and case managers.

All are welcome at the next meeting, which will be held on a remote-only basis on Jan. 13, 2021, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Information about how to join online and/or by phone will be circulated before the meeting to the stakeholder email list. To receive emails about this and possible future meetings, along with updated materials for discussion, and to submit comments, please email us at

For more information, see HCPF IM 20-034 and the attachments on the Memo Series webpage.
Health Care Affordability
Hospital Transformation Program (HTP) Update:
HTP Refresher Training
An HTP Refresher training took place on Tuesday, Nov. 10. If you have any questions or need additional information, please send an email to the HTP inbox or contact Joe Sekiya, Hospital Transformation Project Manager. The training was recorded and posted to the HTP website.
Rural Support Payment Update
The Rural Support Payment is an integral part of the HTP that will aid in making the concepts of HTP operations a reality for many rural hospitals. The purpose of this fund is to assist rural hospitals as they transition towards a sustainable delivery model, with $12 million available annually for each of the five years of the HTP waiver. This dedicated funding will help rural hospitals prepare for future value-based payment environments.
Funding will be awarded to rural hospitals demonstrating the most financial distress based on financial and utilization measures. Funding will be prioritized to low revenue critical access hospitals (bottom 10%), equating to about 17 hospitals statewide. A revised draft hospital agreement will be released in early November, with funding determinations being made between December 2020 and January 2021.
HTP Contractor Update
This notice is to inform stakeholders that the State of Colorado’s contract with Sellers Dorsey for services related to HTP will end on Dec. 31, 2020. As such, Sellers Dorsey will no longer be providing services relative to the HTP after that date.
As of Oct. 14, 2020, the State of Colorado began working with consultants from Myers and Stauffer LC for services related to HTP. Please continue to direct any HTP-related questions to the HTP inbox.
Community Advisory Council
Community Advisory Council meetings continue to take place monthly, with the most recent meeting taking place on Monday, Oct. 9. The agenda, meeting materials and previous meeting notes can be found on the Community Advisory Council website.
Colorado Healthcare Affordability and Sustainability Enterprise (CHASE) Board
The CHASE Board met Nov. 17. Additional information about the board, as well as meeting materials, are on the CHASE Board website
Helpful Resources
Female provider, kneeling next to parents holding small child.
In October 2020, there were
1,365,254 Coloradans enrolled in Health First Colorado and
69,985 enrolled in Child Health Plan Plus.