HB19-1001: Hospital Transparency Measures To Analyze Efficacy

PASSED!

Hospitals account for 34% of Colorado dollars spent on health care. Transparency is the first step in understanding cost-drivers in the health care system, with an ultimate goal of lowering them in the future. This bill will require each hospital in the state to annually report on their expenditures to HCPF and the Colorado healthcare affordability and sustainability enterprise board, and these reports will be made publicly available as well.

HB19-1004: Proposal For Affordable Health Coverage Option

PASSED!

Coloradans suffer from high health care costs and a dearth of competition in many areas. This bill provides an opportunity to study a state-backed option and analyze various factors with the ultimate goal of creating an affordable, competitive state-backed option for health care coverage regardless of income level or geographic location.

HB19-1010: Freestanding Emergency Departments Licensure

PASSED!

When Coloradans walk into FSEDs for emergency services, they deserve to know that FSEDs are adequately adept to provide those services as a matter of public safety. Proper licensure would allow for better distinction and regulation of FSEDs in the future, without impeding on CCECs that provide care to rural or ski resort areas. This allows the board to set these licensure requirements, fees, and safety standards.

HB19-1033: Local Governments May Regulate Nicotine Products

PASSED!

Strikes state statute that financially penalizes localities when they even attempt to license, tax, or assess a fee to cigarettes. Also expressly authorizes counties and statutory cities to regulate tobacco products, e-cigarettes, and nicotine products as they see fit. We know that increasing prices and licensing has immediate impact on teen smoking rates, overall health outcomes, and associated healthcare costs.

HB19-1038: Dental Services For Pregnant Women On Children’s Basic Health Plan Plus

PASSED!

Extends dental services to all eligible enrollees of CHP+, which includes children and pregnant women. Oral health is an indicator of overall health, and we also know that when parents gain access to oral health care (and the financial barrier/insurance is removed) their children are more likely to have excellent/good teeth, are more likely to see a dentist for preventative care, and are less likely to go without dental care. A pregnant mother’s oral health has lifelong effects on their children’s oral health, and a child’s oral health effects school readiness, attendance, and lifelong achievement.

HB19-1044: Advance Behavioral Health Orders Treatment

PASSED!

This bill seeks to create a similar order for behavioral health as exists for the medical scope of treatment by allowing adult individuals to control scopes of treatment by communicating their behavioral health history, decision, and preferences. Individuals with behavioral health disorders are in need of a consistent method for identifying/communicating critical behavioral health treatment history/decisions/preferences that each sector of the health community will recognize so that they can enhance patient-centered, compassionate care, continuity and communication across all health settings.

HB19-1052: Early Childhood Development Special District

PASSED!

Early childhood development services are defined to include early care and educational, health, mental health and developmental services, including prevention and intervention (each of these services can contribute to lifelong success, health and achievement). This bill authorizes the creation of early childhood development service districts to provide for children from birth to age eight. Must be organized in accordance to “Special District Act”, and districts are authorized to seek voter approval to levy property taxes and sales taxes to generate revenue to provide district services.

HB19-1076: Clean Indoor Air Act Add E-cigarettes Remove Exception

PASSED!

As more studies come out, we’re finding that e-cigarettes produce dangerous second-hand smoke that often contains nicotine and volatile organic compounds – especially dangerous to children. This bill will update the Clean Indoor Air Act with the definition of “electronic smoking device” (ESD) to include e-cigarettes and similar devices within the scope of the act.

HB19-1122: Colorado Department Of Public Health And Environment Maternal Mortality Review Committee

PASSED!

Creates the Colorado maternal mortality review committee, which will review maternal deaths, identify causes of maternal mortality, and develop recommendations to address preventable maternal deaths. Women of color die during or after childbirth at much higher rates than white women, and this bill allows us to begin to understand the root causes of this disparity. 

HB19-1161: Comprehensive Physical Education Instruction

PASSED!

Our schools face many barriers to providing quality physical education. HB19-1161 would allow schools and school districts to apply for a three-year grant to help them overcome these hurdles and implement a comprehensive PE program. Baseline and formative data will be collected throughout the pilot, with post-data collection analysis. The hope is for the data to be utilized in the future to make the case to provide quality PE throughout the state.

HB19-1171: Expand Child Nutrition School Lunch Protection Act

PASSED!

Many students who qualify for the federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program still have to pay a fee for each lunch they eat. For many families, even that small fee is too much. Families often end up in collections and students often choose not to eat if they can’t afford the fee. Several years ago, Colorado passed a bill to remedy this by having the state cover the small fee for students in kindergarten through the 5th grade, and last year, a bill increased the number of kids who receive a free lunch, expanding the program to students through 8th grade. This bill requires the general assembly to make an appropriation for the program, clarifies that all students in sixth thru eighth grade participating in the federal reduced price school lunch program are eligible for the program, and extends the grades of eligibility for the program to students thru the 12th grade. This bill helps ensure that every hungry kid is getting to eat and that families are not sent to collections over school debt.

HB19-1174: Out-of-network Health Care Services

PASSED!

Health care facilities, carriers, and providers must provide consumers with disclosures about the potential impact of receiving services from an out-of-network provider or health care facility. Covered individuals deserve access to accurate information about their health care bills and payments in order to ensure they’re able to make informed decisions about their health care and financial obligations.

HB19-1216: Reduce Insulin Prices

PASSED!

Insulin prices have increased 550 percent over the last 14 years when adjusted for inflation. This bill places the responsibility on carriers to pass along rebates to consumers and limit revenue through cost sharing amounts on insulin. There will be a $100 cap on cost to consumers for each monthly supply of insulin drugs. This will provide immediate relief to families and consumers.  

HB19-1224: Free Menstrual Hygiene Products in Custody

Requires local jails and municipal jails to provide menstrual hygiene products to people in custody at no cost. Jails are inconsistent in ensuring that people have necessary access to menstrual hygiene products, and a majority of people in jail struggle to afford these products from commissary. Poor menstrual hygiene can lead to negative health outcomes around toxic shock syndrome, infections, and other abnormalities.

HB19-1225: No Monetary Bail for Certain Low-Level Offenses

Currently, a court is required to release a person charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor, petty offense, or unclassified offense on a personal recognizance bond unless certain conditions exist. This bill removes petty offenses from that requirement, and prohibits a court from imposing a monetary condition of release for a defendant charged with a traffic offense, petty offense, or municipal offense. Long durations spent in custody have a negative effect on one’s physical and mental health, particularly because they increase the likelihood one may lose their employment, and should be avoided whenever possible.

HB19-1226: Bond Reform

This bill requires each judicial district to develop a pretrial screening process and for the state to create an administrative order specifying written criteria for the immediate release of certain defendants without any monetary restrictions. The state will also develop standards and guidelines for pretrial screening process for immediate release of some defendants without monetary restrictions.  This bill requires all counties and cities to develop a pretrial services program by July 1, 2020 and also creates a funding program to allow judicial districts to develop and sustain pretrial programs.

HB19-1233: Investments in Primary Care to Reduce Health Care Costs

PASSED!

This bill aims to guide Colorado to achieve better health outcomes and healthcare cost savings. Evidence shows that patients that live in areas with more options for primary care have better health outcomes, fewer health care dollars spent, and higher satisfaction. This bill will give DOI the authority to establish Colorado Affordability standards, consider whether health insurers’ products are affordable, and consider whether insurers implement effective strategies to enhance affordability. 

HB19-1262: State Funding for Full-Day Kindergarten

PASSED!

The bill provides funding through the school finance formula for full-day kindergarten educational
programs. School districts or charter schools may not charge fees after passage of the bill for student to attend full day kindergarten, and the bill prohibits using a preschool position to enroll a child in full-day kindergarten. Kindergarten has shown a plethora of health benefits for our children, such as cognitive benefits and early social skills development. Many families can not afford the fees associated with enrolling their children in kindergarten, and miss out on the crucial opportunity for early-childhood development.

HB19-1263: Offense Level for Controlled Substance Possession

PASSED!

All felony simple drug possession crimes in the state would be reduced to misdemeanors, which could steer the conversation around addiction toward public health instead of crime. Drug use and possession is primarily a health concern, and should be treated as such by Colorado courts. This bill would reclassify drug possession felonies, but also cap jail time for the offenses.

HB19-1312: School Immunization Requirements

Currently in Colorado, less that 89 percent of kindergarten-aged children have received vaccines for diseases like measles, mumps, and rubella. Hospital and emergency department (ED) charges to treat children in Colorado for vaccine-preventable diseases totaled more than $55 million in 2017. Actual costs, considering costs of doctors’ office visits, medication, lost wages and decreased productivity, are much higher. This bill looks to improve Colorado’s vaccination rates, and modernize our current exemption process.

HB19-1320: Hospital Community Benefit Accountability

Colorado’s nonprofit hospitals receive federal, state, and local tax exemptions amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars. They receive these massive financial benefits on the premise that they are investing in services that improve health outcomes in the communities they serve. HB 1320 aims to increase the overall amount of hospital spending on community benefit by making information about their spending transparent and comparable across hospitals. It also aims to maximize the effectiveness of community benefit spending by encouraging alignment with community and public health priorities, including those related to the social, economic, and environmental determinants of health and disparate access to health care.

HB19-1326: Rates for Senior Low-Income Dental Program

PASSED!

This bill allows the Colorado Dental Health Care Program for Low-Income Seniors to serve
approximately 600-700 additional seniors per year. As background, this is a state-only funded program that provides dental services to approximately 3,000 seniors that are 60 and over, at or below 25 percent of the FPL and who do not have Medicaid or any form of dental coverage. 

HB19-1333: Nicotine Products Tax

Colorado leads the nation in youth e-cigarette use, and one e-cigarette pod can contain as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes. Taxation has been proven the most effective way to reduce youth rate of smoking, and national research shows that every 10 percent increase in price leads to a 7 percent drop in youth usage. This bill would create a tax on liquid nicotine (used in e-cigarettes), raise the cigarette state tax by $1.75, and raise the state tax on OTP by 22%. The funds from the tax would be utilized as a reinvestment in our kids’ health and education. Part of the revenue would go to ensuring our state reaches the recommended levels of CDC funding for tobacco cessation programs, which help youth stop from ever starting smoking, help adults quit, and aide families who have been historically targeted by the tobacco industry. The revenue will also will be invested in reducing health care costs, investing in behavioral health for our youth, expanding the Colorado Preschool program, and providing funding for out of school learning opportunities.

SB19-001: Expand Medication-assisted Treatment Pilot Program

PASSED!

Medicaid-assisted treatment (MAT) programs have been proven effective in treating individuals with opioid use disorder by decreasing opioid use, opioid-related deaths, criminal activity, infectious disease transmission, and increases social functioning and retention in treatment. The pilot programs in Routt and Pueblo counties saw expanded access to MAT services, and this bill seeks to extend the pilot another two years, increase funding, and extend the pilot to San Luis Valley, which has seen increases in opioid overdose deaths since 2010, as well as two other counties. This bill will also move the program from the College of Nursing, to the Center for Research into Substance Use Disorder Prevention,Treatment and Recovery Support Strategies. These are all crucial steps towards combatting the opioid crisis across the state and getting individuals into the care they need with providers.

SB19-003: Educator Loan Forgiveness Program

PASSED!

Colorado has a shortage of teachers and educators in rural or isolated areas of the state. Educational loan repayment or forgiveness can incentivize teachers to relocate to these areas. Colorado students across the state deserve excellent teachers and we know a quality education has implications for lifelong achievements. Also, these drawn-in teachers deserve the financial incentives to make their career work as well as alleviate the long-term stress and anxiety associated with student debt.

SB19-004: Address High-cost Health Insurance Pilot Program

PASSED!

Coloradans suffer from high health care costs and a dearth of competition in many areas. This bill provides an opportunity for a pilot program for individuals in a designated area to partake in the group medical plans offered to state employees. These individuals would be limited to Garfield/Eagle counties within the designated service area, and to a limited number of individuals whose income is between 400-500 percent below the poverty line. This bill would also allow health care cooperatives in the state to incorporate consumer protections such as coverage for preexisting conditions and to encourage consumers to help control health care costs by negotiating rates on a collective basis directly with providers.

SB19-005: Import Prescription Drugs From Canada

PASSED!

Prescription drug costs continue to rise and be unpredictable in Colorado, and our residents can pay 100 percent more than Canadian consumers pay for patented Rx drugs, and 20 percent more for generic drugs. Canada already has a rigorous regulatory system in place to license Rx drugs, and under federal law, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services can approve wholesale importation of Rx drugs from Canada if it is shown to be safe and less costly. HCPF will analyze the costs and benefits of importing prescription drugs from Canada, which could provide Coloradans access to safe and more affordable prescription drugs.

SB19-009: Financial Incentives For Rural Educators

PASSED!

Colorado has a shortage of teachers and educators in rural or isolated areas of the state. This bill will remove the limitation on the number of stipends and increase the annual amount to $4 thousand for students enrolled in teacher prep programs who agree to teach in a rural school or district. It also will eliminate the number of stipends to educators in rural schools and rural school districts who are seeking certain certifications. This bill benefits Colorado’s rural students, allowing them to receive a quality education that has lifelong implications around health and success, and will benefit the teachers, alleviating their financial anxiety and investing in their future.

SB19-195: Child and Youth Behavioral Health Systems Enhancements

PASSED!

For those age 10-24 in Colorado, suicide is the leading cause of death. This bill looks to address the issue by mandating that the State Department create a high-fidelity wraparound service for children and youth, and create an integrated funding pilot that address the challenges of fragmentation and duplication of behavioral health services. Lastly, the bill will create a standardized screening and assessment tool to facilitate identification of behavioral health issues and create a single statewide referral and entry point for those who are identified through the assessment tool.

SB19-222: Individuals at Risk of Institutionalization 

PASSED!

This bill ensures that our state has a behavioral health safety-net system that will not turn people away because they are hard to serve, have a co-occurring condition, or are involved in the criminal or juvenile justice systems. This bill requires HCPF to develop measurable outcomes to monitor efforts of preventing medicaid recipients from becoming involved in the criminal justice system. HCPF must work collaboratively with managed care entities to create incentives for behavioral health providers to accept medicaid recipients with severe behavioral health disorder. The state must define what constitutes a high-intensity behavioral health treatment program, determine what an adequate network of high-intensity behavioral health treatment services includes, identify existing treatment programs, and develop a comprehensive proposal to develop a system that provides behavioral health services to individuals with severe behavioral health disorders.

SB19-228: Substance Use Disorder Prevention Measures

PASSED!

The amount of children admitted to hospitals for opioid-related diagnoses has nearly doubled from 2004 to 2015, and to date, there has been no focused effort to address youth usage. Individuals who report taking prescription opioids for medical purposes during high school have a 33 percent greater risk of misusing opioids by the age of 23, and children in households where parents struggle with substance abuse are more likely to experience long-term effects of neglect than other children.

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