Provider Association Newsletter
May 2019
Welcome to the new look and focus of the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (the Department's) newsletter for health care leaders. This newsletter will be published quarterly.
It was originally started to update health care leaders with pertinent information on the then-new Colorado interChange. However, now that the Colorado interChange and the fiscal agent are in normal operations, we hope to move the focus of this newsletter onto topics that provide additional support and information to you -- our partners.
If you would like to provide feedback for the topics this newsletter addresses, please  feel free to share your thoughts through this survey
Message from the Executive Director
Governor Jared Polis and Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera developed a health care roadmap to guide work to reduce health care costs. We're working closely with other Departments on the priorities outlined in the roadmap.
This past legislative session included many steps forward. We're very excited our Department legislative agenda items passed that will: extend Breast and Cervical Cancer Care for a decade ( HB19-1302 ), allow more seniors access to dental care ( HB19-1326 ) and allow additional grant funding to support innovation for nursing homes ( SB19-254 ). In addition, legislation passed this year focused on helping those who need us the most. Thanks to work with partners, legislation to extend the In-Home Support Services ( SB19-164 ) and Spinal Cord Injury Waiver programs passed ( SB19-197 ) and pregnant women in Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) now have access to dental coverage ( HB19-1038 ). Many bills related to behavioral health moved through this session, too.
This was a year for transformative health policy. Legislation aimed at improving transparency for our hospital partners was passed with HB19-1001 and a new bill aimed at improving accountability for providing community benefit ( HB19-1320 ) passed. Other legislation championed by the Division of Insurance included the creation of a Reinsurance program ( HB19-1168 ), legislation to address out-of-network costs ( HB19-1174 ) and an innovative pilot program to address high costs ( HB19-004 ) passed. The Department, in collaboration with the Division of Insurance, will create an affordable health care insurance option (HB19-1004 ) and is moving forward with creating the framework for importing prescription drugs from Canada ( SB19-005 ). 

Behavioral health was supported by legislation including a bill to streamline the licensing process for behavioral health providers ( HB19-1237 ).  A bill aimed at ensuring parity between behavioral health services and services for any physical illness ( HB19-1269 ) passed. Also, a child and youth behavioral health system to work towards coordinating behavioral health services across agencies will be created ( SB19-195 ).

These are not small steps forward, but bold steps that will put Colorado on the leading edge as we aim to address affordability of health care. 
Thank you for your leadership and ongoing collaboration,

Kim Bimestefer
HCPF Creates New Pharmacy Office and Names Leadership
This month the Department announced the creation of a new pharmacy office and the appointment of Cathy Traugott as Office Director.

"Our prescription drug/pharmacy area is a key focus area for the Department," Executive Director Kim Bimestefer said. "To enhance our ability to meet the prescription needs of our members, to help us battle the rising costs of our prescription benefit, and to lead the emerging legislative and affordability prescription drug policy for the state, we have chosen to make our pharmacy area its own office."

The full press release announcing the formation of the pharmacy office is on the Department's website.
2019 Legislative Session Overview
The 2019 legislative session ended on May 3, 2019. The Department successfully supported the passage several bills with bipartisan support. A brief overview of the status of Department agenda bills and some legislation impacting the Department is posted on our Legislator Resource Center.
Update on the Implementation of Wage Pass-Through (HB18-1407)
The Department continues to work on the implementation of HB18-1407, passed by the legislature last year. The bill requires the Department to implement a 6.5 percent increase in the reimbursement rate for certain Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) provided to individuals receiving services through the Developmental Disabilities, Supported Living Services, and Children's Extensive Supports waivers.

The increase applies to:
  • Group Residential Services and Supports
  • Individual Residential Services and Supports
  • Specialized Habilitation
  • Respite
  • Homemaker Basic
  • Homemaker Enhanced
  • Personal Care
  • Prevocational Services
  • Behavioral Line Staff
  • Community Connector
  • Supported Community Connections
  • Mentorship
  • Supported Employment - Job Development
  • Supported Employment - Job Coaching
The increased funding must be used to increase the compensation of Direct Support Professionals. The employing or contracted service agency has the flexibility to determine the compensation percentage increase of each Direct Support Professional, so long as the full amount of increased funding was used. The employing or contracted service agency is not required to increase a Direct Support Professional compensation by 6.5 percent. The employing or contracted service agency must report to the Department how the funding was used each year for three years.

For additional questions, please see the FAQ posted on the Department's website.
Hospital Transformation Project
Program Overview

The Hospital Transformation Program (HTP) is a five-year reform initiative that builds upon the existing hospital supplemental payment program to incorporate value-based purchasing strategies into existing hospital quality and payment improvement initiatives. Over time, hospitals across the state will be required to demonstrate meaningful community engagement and improvements in health outcomes in order to receive supplemental payments. The program will outline expectations for key activities and tracking measures, in order to establish statewide uniformity while providing the hospitals the flexibility to work with their communities on the best interventions and approaches.

A detailed overview of the program, as well as the timeline for implementation and hospital requirements, can be found in the HTP Concept Paper.

Stay Updated on All Things HTP!

As community engagement and partnership are cornerstones of the program, the HTP Newsletter will be an important channel for information and updates about the program. A link to the most recent edition of the HTP Newsletter is found here.

Those interested in receiving updates about the HTP should sign-up through the HCPF website. To complete the sign-up process, enter your contact information and click the "Hospital Transformation Program" box.

If you have additional questions about the HTP, please contact Courtney A. Ronner, Hospital Relations and Communication Manager, at 303-866-2699 or
Vendor Switch for Colorado Child Health Plan
Plus Dental Billing
Effective July 1, 2019, DentaQuest will take over administration of the Child Health Plan
Plus (CHP+) dental program from Delta Dental. DentaQuest is the current administrator for the Health First Colorado dental benefit. DentaQuest invites providers to join their network caring for the children enrolled in CHP+.
Contact the recruitment department toll-free at 855-873-1283 or email
Please do not reply to this email; this address is not monitored.
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