TopAt a Glance
April 30, 2020                                                                                  
In This Issue
In March 2020, there were 1,189,613
Coloradans enrolled in Health First Colorado and 76,405 enrolled in
Upcoming Events and Helpful Resources
Health First Colorado printed materials are available on our website
Health First Colorado videos for use in waiting rooms and other areas members visit are available for download on our website
New to PEAK or Need a Refresher?

The Intro to PEAK and Application Walk-Through recorded webinars are available anytime. For more information and trainings, visit the PEAK Outreach Initiative website.
Public Rule Review Opportunities

Anyone interested in a one-on-one discussion with Department staff about upcoming rules is invited to attend the Department's Public Rule Review Meeting. Information is available on the Public Rule Review Meetings webpage. 

For more information, or to be added to the Medical Services Board email distribution list, please contact Chris Sykes.
Employment Opportunities

Applying for state government jobs is easy. Applications are electronic, you will receive updates, and you do not need to answer any written questions until it is determined that you meet the minimum qualifications. 

Check out the website for State of Colorado jobs including the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing jobs.
Welcome to the April 2020 edition of At a Glance!

At a Glance is a Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (Department) publication that provides information on major initiatives, policy changes and program updates. Please feel free to share At a Glance with your colleagues. Previous editions of At a Glance are available on our website.

Thank you for your interest!

A Message from the Executive Director
With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department leadership team and staff are proud and honored to support more Coloradans than ever before. Rest assured that the Department is working feverishly to leverage our knowledge, experience, and passion to craft and implement the changes that will support our members and providers through this unprecedented public health crisis. In that spirit, we invite you to review the changes implemented by the Department with these goals in mind.  

We are increasing outreach and support to members and applicants in many ways:
  • Updating our members by email, text message and the PEAK Health app with important information about COVID-19. Members can go to and update their communication preferences to make sure they are getting the latest information through text and email. They can also download the free  PEAKHealth app on their devices through the app store.
  • Creating new social media channels specifically for members, focusing on messages most important to members and applicants during this public health crisis and beyond. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter .
  • Posting COVID-19 information for members and applicants, including frequently asked questions and links to information about the virus at .
  • Reducing face-to-face engagement where clinically appropriate and enabling telemedicine as an alternative. We've also enacted temporary enhancements to our telemedicine policy to improve overall access to care for our members to further mitigate the spread of the virus. 
  • Hiring additional staff to manage increasing call volumes in our Department's Member Contact Center, provider call centers, and new member enrollment centers. 
  • Expanding customer service. Denver Health's Colorado Medical Assistance Program (CMAP) call center expanded its hours to include 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays. They can help all Health First Colorado and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) members update their cases and will help all applicants, regardless of where they live in Colorado. Members and applicants who call the Department's Member Contact Center at 1-800-221-3943 can press 1 to be transferred to CMAP on Saturday mornings. On weekdays, members and applicants should contact their county of residence or application assistance site for assistance.            
We also worked with Health First Colorado care providers to ease administrative burden during this unprecedented time. And we have worked to make it easier for new providers to enroll in the program so that they can continue to serve their patients who may be moving from commercial coverage to Health First Colorado coverage. Those efforts will also help us increase care access to all our members. 
We have implemented changes to ensure continuous eligibility for our Health First Colorado members starting March 18, 2020, and lasting throughout the national public health emergency period. This is in accordance with both our mission to serve and directives from our federal partners at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). We also implemented similar changes to our CHP+ program to support continuous coverage. 
To help those without health coverage - either through commercial insurance or a public program like Medicare, Health First Colorado (Medicaid), or CHP+ - the Medicaid Disaster Relief State Plan Amendment effective April 5 provides coverage for COVID-19 appropriate testing for uninsured Coloradans who have been exposed to COVID-19. 

We are working with our federal partners to secure approval on other accommodations while concurrently balancing severe budget constraints. We appreciate your support in asking our federal partners to strongly prioritize the needs of states in the next stimulus package; additional federal funds and support will be critical in our ability to effectively support Coloradans during this pandemic and economic downturn. In the interim, you can find up to date information and details on the Department's related efforts at

On behalf of the Department, our leadership team, and our staff, we thank you for your passion to serve, care for, and support our members and all Coloradans through this difficult time. 

Kim Bimestefer
Breaking News
Expanded Customer Service Hours
Denver Health's Colorado Medical Assistance Program (CMAP) call center is expanding its hours to include 8 a.m. - noon on Saturdays. They can help all Health First Colorado and CHP+ members update their case and will help all applicants, regardless of where they live in Colorado. Members and applicants who call the Department's Member Contact Center at 1-800-221-3943, and then press "1" will automatically be transferred to CMAP on Saturday mornings. On weekdays, members and applicants should contact their county of residence or application assistance site for this assistance.  
COVID-19 and Eligibility Appeals
Members on continued benefits due to an eligibility appeal during the month of March will continue to receive continued benefits not only due to the appeal, but also due to COVID- 19. These members will remain on continued benefits until the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency, even if their appeal is denied. The Department will send a letter to members with next steps after the COVID-19 public health emergency ends.

For more information, contact Joelle Morrison.
Health First Colorado Eligibility Email Address Change
When the Department migrated to gmail in January, the email address for the Health First Colorado Eligibility inbox changed.  The new email address is

If you sent an email to the old email address and have not received a response, please re-send your message to the new email address.
Redetermination Letter Guidance for Eligibility Workers
Eligibility sites (counties and Medical Assistance Sites) are experiencing unusually high backlog numbers for Medical Assistance Redeterminations (RRRs).

The Business Process Reengineering Project Learning Session 2 explored business processes and data entry for RRRs and identified guidance
 to reduce RRR backlog and maintain timeliness. This guidance pertains to RRR processing in general and is not specific to potential backlog increases created by the COVID projects for the public health emergency.

For more information, read the memo and the attachment.  
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: 
Follow Health First Colorado on Twitter & Facebook
In addition to our already established Department social media accounts,  Health First Colorado is now on Facebook and  Twitter  with information for members including: 
  • Updates about COVID-19
  • Tips and tricks for using PEAK to manage benefits
  • Useful resources on our website
We're working hard to get the latest information to our members during this time. Please help us spread the word about the new social media channels we have created just for members!
Legislative Update
The Colorado General Assembly is temporarily adjourned because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For more information, visit
Health Care Affordability
Hospital Transformation Program Update
HTP application delay 
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, an email communication was sent to hospitals on March 17 regarding the Department's decision to delay the Hospital Transformation Program (HTP) application deadline of April 30 until a future date, to be announced.  Although the application deadline has been delayed, the Department continues to work with CMS toward obtaining approval for all components of the HTP in advance of the target waiver implementation date of October 2020.  
Update on federal authorities 
The Department continues to engage in discussions with CMS and is working toward obtaining approval for all components in advance of the target waiver implementation date of October 2020.  
Hospital Index and Prometheus dashboard update 
The Department is in the process of completing a refresh of the data for the Prometheus dashboards and recalculating Hospital Index scores. This is not a refresh that will be used for the baseline of the HTP, but rather our regular annual update to the data. No action is required from hospitals regarding this refresh and update.  
If you'd like to know more about the HTP, visit  the HTP website   and read past editions of the HTP Newsletter in  our online archives.
For more information, contact Courtney Ronner.
Operational Excellence
Substance Use Disorder Benefit Delay
Given the recent spread and response to COVID-19, the Department has made the difficult decision to delay the effective date of the Substance Use Disorder benefits intended through House Bill 18-1136 until January 2021. This six-month delay will enable the Department to free up capacity and budget and allow our partners to respond to the current public health crisis caused by COVID-19.

For more information, visit our website