Aug. 30, 2022

County Connections

This Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (the Department) newsletter is designed to inform county directors, management and staff about high-impact updates, important changes, county performance, new guidance, and program changes.
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High-Impact Updates
Message from the Executive Director

Partnering for Transformation

Thank you to the more than 1,000 individuals who registered for the HCPF Annual Stakeholder Webinar on July 19. To those of you who were not able to attend, we started the webinar with a grounding of who we serve via a powerful member video, reviewed shared accomplishments as well as the challenges and opportunities before us, and then dove into the related details through individual HCPF Office Director presentations. Webinar materials are posted online for your convenience. As we embark on this new state fiscal year, below are a few highlights of the Department's transformational priorities, which were framed through stakeholder engagement.

 

Coverage Continuity and Operational Investments. The public health emergency (PHE) was recently extended by the federal government through at least Oct. 13. Though the Department believes that the PHE will be extended again, we have been actively executing on a number of initiatives intended to propel coverage continuity, improve the member experience, reduce eligible but not enrolled Coloradans, and address county workload challenges. We have already communicated that we will be leveraging the 14 months offered by HHS to redetermine our current enrollees once the PHE ends. In addition, we are innovating to make our Health First Colorado and Child Health Plan Plus application renewal process as easy as possible, including increasing our automation capabilities. As a result, during the last few months, about 35% of our member renewals (we have continued to process renewals through the PHE) didn’t require any action on the part of the member or the county worker. And for a subset of our MAGI members, as many as 77% didn’t require any member or worker action – an incredible accomplishment! Another initiative intended to achieve those shared goals is the waiving of CHP+ premiums as approved by the General Assembly this past legislative session. That enables the auto-enrollment of children who qualify for CHP+ but no longer qualify for Health First Colorado at the end of the PHE. In the same spirit, we are also working closely with Connect for Health Colorado to improve awareness of coverage programs and the financial assistance available for Health First Colorado, CHP+ and commercial coverage through the subsidies available through Connect for Health Colorado. On this last matter, we are actively monitoring the current congressional discussion and action. 

 

Health Equity. While the Department is working hard to apply a health equity lens across all our programs and initiatives, we have identified four initial Health First Colorado health disparity areas of focus, including: COVID-19 vaccination rates (currently a 28-pt Health First Colorado uptake disparity measured against all Coloradans), maternal care (HCPF covered 43% of the state’s births last year), behavioral health and prevention. You can read more about this in HCPF’s Health Equity Plan at CO.gov/HCPF/health-equity. Concurrent with that submission, effective July 1, health equity plan requirements are now part of each Regional Accountable Entity and Managed Care Entity contract. This important lever is foundational in achieving desired health outcomes as well as decreasing disparities for our members. In addition to targeted interventions to population needs and health priorities, listening to the lived experiences of our members and shoring up our data collection will help guide the Department’s decisions and innovations to improve quality of care. Please stay tuned for our second report on Health First Colorado maternal health disparities, expected in the coming weeks.

 

Affordability. We took a poll during our July HCPF Stakeholder webinar which indicated that 29% of the attendees felt that saving Coloradans money on health care should be our top priority of our six pillars (Member Health, Medicaid Cost Control, Care Access, Customer Service & Operational Excellence, Helping HCPF Employees Thrive, Affordability for All Coloradans). This aligns directly with the COVID-induced inflationary challenges presenting across the globe, our shared focus on saving Coloradans money on health care, and HCPF’s modernized mission. To drive impactful affordability transformation, we continue to prioritize value based payments in primary care, maternity care and hospital care to reward improved access to quality care, health equity and cost control. We will also be furthering hospital price transparency compliance with federal and state requirements over the coming months. Our work will help commercial consumers, employers and health plans utilize transparent pricing information to have productive affordability conversations with local hospitals on their prices compared to others for specific services.

 

Other Transformational Investments. In addition to the above, HCPF continues to invest in transformational projects, including:

  • Implementing 63 projects to create lasting improvements in home and community- based services (HCBS) and supports for direct care workers
  • Strengthening the behavioral health safety net, stabilizing crisis services, improving behavioral health access and integrating behavioral health into primary care
  • Improving the affordability and accessibility of care provided by rural hospitals and their clinics
  • Investing in the health care workforce to expand access
  • Funding comprehensive, wrap-around social services for individuals who were recently unhoused.

 

Thank you again for your ongoing partnership in transforming health care for the betterment of our members and all Coloradans.

New Bookkeeper Training for County Human Services, October 2022

This is an announcement for New Bookkeeper Training for County Human Services (a repeat of previous classes) sponsored by Neal Christensen, retired CPA.

 

This training will be a live video conference format using software from Zoom. The Zoom video conference format will allow for interactions with training participants.

 

Where: Video feed to your personal computer at your desktop at work or at your home. The class materials will be emailed to you in an electronic format. You can print out these materials or use them in their electronic format.

 

When: There are 12 sessions of 50 minutes each with 4 sessions per day.

 

Oct. 12, 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., with a lunch break from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Oct. 19, 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., with a lunch break from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Oct. 26, 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., with a lunch break from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

 

Target Audience: County Human Services; Account Clerks, Bookkeepers, and Accountants with 0 to 2 years of experience.

 

Registration deadline: 5 p.m. on Oct. 5, 2022

 

Cost: $200 includes all three days and materials. The registration form is an attachment to this email in two formats, Word and PDF, and you can use either format. You can email the registration form to Neal.Christensen.CPA@gmail.com or you can send the form and payment to:

 

Neal Christensen

10152 Woodrose Lane

Highlands Ranch, CO 80129-5404

 

The detailed schedule is as follows:

 

Wednesday, Oct. 12

 

  • 9:30 - 10:20 Introduction to Human Services; explanation of the acronyms and the jargon; overview of the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS); descriptions of the different computer systems and more
  • 10:30 - 11:20 Random Moment Sample (RMS); detailed explanation of the RMS system
  • 11:30 - 1 lunch
  • 1 - 1:50 Coding of Transactions in the Colorado Financial Management System (CFMS); coding for direct costs and indirect cost (cost pools) plus specific examples
  • 2 - 2:50 County Financial Management System (CFMS); review of the basics of CFMS

 

Wednesday, Oct. 19

 

  • 9:30 - 10:20 Programs / Grants / Funding; detailed explanations and descriptions of the largest programs
  • 10:30 - 11:20 Monthly Settlement through CFMS; a walk-through of an actual county’s monthly settlement process; review of the flow of county warrant and Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) transactions
  • 11:30 - 1 lunch
  • 1 - 1:50 Allocations and Monthly Allocation Tracking; July 1 through June 30 State allocations
  • 2 - 2:50 Closeout of Allocations; a walk-through of the CDHS close-out process each June 30

 

Wednesday, Oct. 26

 

  • 9:30 - 10:20 State Financial Rules - Code of Colorado Regulations (CCR) - CDHS and HCPF; 11 CCR 2508-1 from the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) and 10 CCR 2505-5 from the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy &  Financing (HCPF)
  • 10:30 - 11:20 Federal Financial Rules - Uniform Administrative Requirements; cost principles, administrative rules, and audit requirements for federal awards; formerly Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circulars A-87, A-102, and A-133
  • 11:30 - 1 lunch
  • 1 - 1:50 Budgets; discussion of budget law, different types of budgets and exercises on how to create your own budget
  • 2 - 2:50 Internal Control; discussion of the five internal control modules and the 17 principles of internal control
Recent Memo Series Issued to Counties
All Memos and their attachments are on the Memo Series website.

Policy Memos

PM 22-010

Public Benefits Theft - Amendments to Colorado Revised Statutes Section 18-4-401

The purpose of this Policy Memo is to advise county departments of human/social services of the recent amendments made to Section 18-4-401 of the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.), which create specific elements for public benefits theft within the existing theft statute. These amendments dictate how Health First Colorado/Medicaid member/client overpayments can be criminally prosecuted.


PM 22-009

Colorado Cash Back Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) Refund

The purpose of this Policy Memo is to inform eligibility sites of the income and resource eligibility rules for the Colorado Cash Back Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) Refund. This memo includes guidance for all Medical Assistance eligibility categories. Please share this memo with all eligibility staff, supervisors, and outside agencies, as appropriate.

Operational Memos

OM 22-041

FY 2022-23 HCPF County Administration Allocations and Spending Plans

The purpose of this Operational Memo is to inform county human/social services departments (counties) of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing’s FY 2022-23 County Administration Allocation based on enhanced and nonenhanced Medicaid administration funding split. In addition, this Operational Memo provides information relating to the county administration appropriation related to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) funding provided to counties to manage the Continuous Coverage workload resulting from the PHE. 

Informational Memos

None

Informational Updates

Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) Enrollment Fee Discontinued

In an effort to remove barriers for families seeking health coverage, the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) and the Colorado General Assembly championed a health care bill that also included an amendment to eliminate the CHP+ enrollment fee at intake and renewal.
 
Effective July 1, 2022, the enrollment fee will no longer be required at intake for the CHP+ program. The CBMS project build date for this system change is June 11, 2022.  
 
Please be advised, the requirement to collect an annual enrollment fee for CHP+ at renewal is currently suspended due to the Public Health Emergency (PHE) and will be permanently discontinued at the end of the PHE.
 
Questions regarding this communication may be directed to the Eligibility Inbox 
County Relations Team Introduces
Customer Relationship Management System
Do you need help? Do you have a question? Does a case need to be escalated? There are two ways you can contact the HCPF County Relations team.
  1. County Relations Web Form—try this method first. It allows you to enter details to help us resolve your issues.
  2. County Relations Email—You can still contact us by email at hcpf_countyrelations@state.co.us. Your email to us will automatically create a service ticket with your email included. We cannot open encrypted messages within our ticketing system.
Update to Renewal Revamp Workbook- Transitional Medical Assistance
The Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) is releasing this communication to notify Eligibility Sites that the Renewal Revamp Workbook has been updated to add information on Transitional Medical Assistance (MA) Policy.

Members receiving Transitional Medical Assistance must receive 12 full months of coverage, even if other members within the household have a different renewal due date.

A member on Transitional Medical Assistance will go through the Ex-Parte process, which
starts three months prior to the renewal due date.

Please view the changes on page 9 in the Renewal Revamp Workbook.

If you have any questions regarding this communication may be directed to
County Grants & County Incentives Program

County Incentives and Grants

County Incentives Programs:

Final Reports for FY 2021-22 will be emailed to Directors and Secondary Directors after accounting completes the final payment. Please look for the Final Reports around the end of August. Contracts for FY 2022-23 are in the process of being finalized. Thank you for your participation in developing the Customer Service Performance Incentives. 


EQA results are paused while Eligibility Quality Assurance hires and onboards new staff. We will let you know as soon as reviews will restart. As communicated by Melissa Vincent on July 5, 2022, EQA is still requesting cases files every month. While there is a pause in results, this might be a good time for you and your teams to reflect on your Accuracy Performance Incentive data and outcomes in FY2021-22. Have you integrated this work into your operations? Are there opportunities to re-train your teams based the most common errors made in FY 2021-22?


County Grants: Competitive

FY 2022-23 County Grants Congratulations to Conejos, Denver, Lake and Larimer for their successful applications! 

County Performance

This will be added in September's County Connections.

Supplemental Information
Department Contacts & Resources