2019 Legislative Priorities:
HB19-1009: Substance Use Disorder Recovery
Housing instability often leads to negative physical and mental health, and often makes it harder to access health care especially for those recovering from substance use disorders. This bill will expand the housing voucher program to include those with a substance use disorder, create a licensing program for recovery residences in Colorado, and create an opioid crisis recovery fund for money the state receives from any litigation.
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
Human trafficking is a statewide concern that has direct impact on local communities, law enforcement, and orgs that provide services to human trafficking survivors. Other than the front range, many areas of the state have limited training resources available to identify human trafficking and providing services to human trafficking survivors. This bill will provide materials and trainings (train-the-trainer, direct, online) to law enforcement, orgs providing services to victims, schools personnel (parents and students), and other agencies that would benefit.
HB19-1161: Comprehensive Physical Education Instruction
Our schools face many barriers to providing quality physical education. HB19-1161 would allow schools and school districts to apply for a 3-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. These proof points will support how quality Physical Education impacts student health, academic success, and social-emotional well-being and will help inform policy in the future.
Alters the number of individuals on the child welfare allocations committees to those appointed by county commissioners from 8 to 10, with the two additional appointees coming from 2 counties with the greatest percentage of state’s child welfare caseload. Addressing and adding in the voices from communities with the greatest needs in this area just makes sense.
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.
HB19-1010: Freestanding Emergency Departments Licensure
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.
HB19-1083: Athletic Trainers License
To align with 46 other states who license athletic trainers, this bill changes the terms describing the regulation of athletic trainers from “registration” to “license” and “licensure” and from “registrant” and “registered athletic trainer” to “licensee”. Simple changes that make sense to allow professional liability coverage from them outside of their primary state, and to be able to participate in interstate compact and licensure reciprocity.
MAT treatment 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 county saw expanded access to MAT services (since there are often inadequate to no providers) 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 & 2 other counties that have a substantial need. 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.
SB19-005: Import Prescription Drugs From Canada
Prescription drug costs continue to rise and be unpredictable in Colorado as we can pay twice as much as Canadian consumers pay for patented Rx drugs and 20% 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 its shown to be safe and less costly. HCPF will analyze the costs, benefits of importing prescription drugs from Canada and this could provide Coloradans access to safe and more affordable prescription drugs.
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.
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
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.
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 – i.e. legislation, policies, rules, and best practices to support the health and safety of the pregnant and postpartum population in CO and prevent maternal deaths. Women of color die during or after childbirth at much higher rates than white women, this bill allows us to begin to understand the root causes of this.
SB19-003: Educator Loan Forgiveness Program
Colorado has a shortage of teachers and educators often in rural or isolated areas of the state. Educational loan repayment or forgiveness can incentivize teachers 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 longterm stress and anxiety associated with student debt.
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% 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.
We know that we cannot incarcerate ourselves out of the opioid epidemic or substance, and often those incarcerated for drug-related offenses need treatment options. This bill is comprehensive in its approach. A couple things it does is it looks to study alternatives to incarceration for those that need treatment instead of jail for drug-related offenses, and also looks to provide behavioral & substance use treatment (MAT) to those who may already be incarcerated.
SB19-009: Financial Incentives For Rural Educators
Colorado has a shortage of teachers and educators, often in rural or isolated areas of the state. This bill will remove the limitation on the number of stipends and increases annual amount to $4k 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 as they will continue to receive a quality education that has lifelong implications around health and success, as well as for the teachers to alleviate stress/anxiety around finances, and an investment in future teachers.
This bill requires the Department of Public Health and Environment to create and administer a statewide electronic system that allows qualified individuals to upload and access advance medical directives (i.e. the medical orders for scope of treatment). It is the responsibility of the adult or authorized surrogate decision maker to ensure the advance medical directive uploaded to the system is accurate and current. This bill requires the department to create rules to administer treatment and must contract with one or more health info organization networks. They would also address the consistency of care.