April 2023

ARPA Project Pulse Newsletter

Spring is officially here now that we are riding the temperature roller coaster! We hope that you are all looking forward to the warmer months as much as we are. In this issue of the newsletter we will be revisiting projects in the category of Enhance Quality Outcomes. A primary responsibility of HCPF is ensuring the health, wellness, and safety of our members. In order to do so, we must implement quality standards and maintain strict oversight of provider agencies. The projects within this category focus on developing quality frameworks and oversight requirements which will result in cost savings, provider accountability, and most importantly, improved quality outcomes. If you have questions about any of the projects in this category or others, you can always get in touch with us here. Thanks, as always, for your continued engagement and collaboration on all of this important work!

~ The ARPA Team

Project & Partner Spotlight:

8.10 - Criminal Justice Partnership

DOC HCPF Partnership
Hannah Hall

Project Lead

Hannah Hall,

Criminal Justice Policy Specialist & Health Integration Advisor,

Behavioral Health Initiatives and Coverage Office,


Cheryl Petrossi

Project Partner

Cheryl Petrossi,

Nurse Case Manager,

Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC)

Hannah, tell us a little about this project’s background: 

ARPA 8.10 is focused on building partnerships and working through those partnerships to better enroll and engage justice-impacted members. We are building upon existing partnerships and work between HCPF, the Regional Accountable Entities (RAEs), DOC, and the Judiciary and expanding relationships with other levels of the justice system, state agencies, and community organizations to develop and implement best practices to address gaps in the system. 

Cheryl, tell us a little about your background and role within DOC:

I was hired on as a DOC nurse case manager in 2013 as a result of Colorado opting into the Affordable Care Act. It was the Governor's initiative, at that time, to enroll hospitalized offenders and those released from DOC into the community into Medicaid. HCPF hired a team to process DOC paper Medicaid applications, and the determinations came back to us on an Excel spreadsheet we are using to this day! The DOC nurse case managers have been working with the Medicaid Managed Care Behavioral Health Organizations (BHOs), Regional Care Collaborative Organizations (RCCOs), and RAEs since the very beginning but I'd have to say our most successful collaboration was the hepatitis C referral project 2018-2020, which resulted in 177 RAE referrals. 

How has DOC come to be involved in the ARPA 8.10 - Criminal Justice Partnership project, Cheryl?

DOC has been a long-time participant in HCPF's Health Care Justice Transition monthly meetings. This is where I met Hannah and learned specifically about this project. HCPF and DOC have been collaborating together with community partners since 2013 to fill the health care gap for Colorado's justice-involved population.

Hannah, can you provide some updates related to the work that is underway and has been completed up to this point? 

We are currently surveying county human services offices and county jails. These surveys will help establish a baseline understanding of jail processes related to Medicaid, identify county needs, and guide the creation of a best practices toolkit, which is currently being developed. We are excited about this opportunity to expand our criminal justice partnerships to the county level where many of our members are impacted.  

That’s great. What other work is on the horizon for this project, Hannah?  

Over the summer, we will be holding a series of listening sessions for justice-impacted members. We want to center their voices as we continue to identify gaps and expand our understanding of how to best serve members. Throughout the project, we will continue coordinating with individuals working on other criminal justice-related projects across HCPF to ensure a cohesive strategy and approach, as well as bringing the criminal justice perspective to projects, processes, and structures that impact the justice system. 

Cheryl, in your view, why is this project important and what excites you most about it?

This project is important because it includes initiatives designed to improve access to behavioral health care. It is wholly collaborative as it will be built through interacting with members, state and local government, community-based organizations, and the RAEs.

What excites me most is that this project includes county jails! To my knowledge nearly all of the work we have done has been for offenders that have come through the state prison system, it's refreshing to see we are reaching out to the county jails. 

That is exciting! How else are HCPF and DOC working together, Cheryl? 

  • DOC nurse case managers refer high medical needs and hepatitis C offenders released from DOC to the RAEs monthly. 
  • DOC continues to enroll 40-60 patients in Medicaid for inpatient hospital stays every month. 
  • DOC continues to enroll 400-600 people a month in Medicaid as they are released to parole or community corrections.

Finally, Hannah, how can stakeholders get involved?

Stakeholder sessions are being scheduled for this summer, with more specifics to be released soon. Additionally, much of our work is ongoing and I encourage any interested stakeholders to reach out to me directly at hannah.hall@state.co.us to connect!

Project Update: 3.01 Equity Study

Through the ARPA Initiative 3.01 - Equity Study, HCPF is working with stakeholders to identify barriers and increase equity across HCBS programs. The project is excited to share several updates about its work along with information about things to come. 

  • Internal HCPF Equity Study: In late 2022, a HCPF study determined that individuals receiving HCBS are more likely to be white and English-speaking than the overall Colorado population and general Medicaid population. This study will be published sometime in the summer of 2023. 
  • Provider and Member-Caregiver Survey: In February 2023, we reached out to stakeholders with a survey request, and nearly 350 agency representatives and providers and 140 members and caregivers responded.
  • Virtual Summit #1: On April 4, more than 115 people joined to hear the study and survey results and share their thoughts on those findings, including how to break down identified barriers and conduct more equitable awareness and enrollment. 
  • Engaging Local Organizations: The project team is currently meeting with community-based organizations that provide health-related resource navigation and support to individuals in underrepresented communities to:
  • Identify barriers and actionable solutions around awareness, enrollment, and utilization of HCBS programs. 
  • Understand how community-based organizations and resource navigators work with their community (their norms and strategies).

Save the date to learn more:

By The Numbers:



The Number of Active Grant Awards


The Number of Grant Awardees To Be Added In the Coming Months


Percent of Total Grant Funding Awarded To Date

Open Grant Opportunities

4.02 Promoting Single Occupancy Grant

Application Deadline Friday, May 12, 2023

In the midst of a global pandemic, congregate care residential settings providers saw the necessity for single occupancy rooms to prevent the spread of disease and promote independence and autonomy. Through funding provided by Section 9817 of ARPA, HCPF has created the 4.02 Single Occupancy Grant Program to offer payments for providers to convert multi-person rooms to single occupancy rooms. HCPF has allocated $20 million for these payments, with a maximum of $1 million per awardee.

Eligible organizations can apply by Friday, May 12, 2023, using the online application. View the request for applications.

HCPF’s grant is focused on developing new ways that Colorado’s home and community-based services residential settings can adapt and provide more independent and health-centered outcomes in a single occupancy setting. HCPF seeks programs that:

  • Develop single occupancy from multiple person rooms
  • Take steps to mitigate disease transmission in these room conversions 

With sustainability and longevity in mind, HCPF is requiring applicants to create a project outline with steps on how this conversion will happen and how once converted, this project will be sustained.

HCPF will evaluate the feasibility and sustainability of the applicant programs and whether the state of Colorado would benefit from these projects long term. Allocation of these funds will require strict reporting and will only be made to programs that include Health First Colorado and CHP+ members.

To submit any questions, email Austin Leffel. Learn more and start your application today.

4.07 New Systems of Care Grants

Application Deadline Friday, May 12, 2023

Through ARPA, Section 9817, HCPF has been authorized to distribute $15 million in a new grant opportunity to:

  • Help enhance, expand and strengthen the HCBS direct care workforce in Colorado, and
  • Support the facilitation of home sharing for older adults through the Systems of Care Grant.

Eligible organizations can apply by Friday, May 12, 2023, using the 4.07 online application. View the Request for Applications.

Funds for the New Systems of Care Grants can be used to either build or supplement existing programs in one or more of the following areas of focus:

  • Home sharing facilitation where at least one individual in the home sharing match is at least age 55 or older.
  • Provision of college credit for prior learning (CPL) and work experience for Colorado Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Direct Care Workers (DCWs).
  • Tuition reimbursement distribution for Colorado Medicaid HCBS DCWs.
  • Child care reimbursement distribution for Colorado Medicaid HCBS DCWs.

You cannot make any changes to your grant application once it is submitted. To submit any questions, email Austin Leffel. Learn more and start your application today.

Training Fund Grants Open for Individual Direct Care Workers and HCBS Providers 

HCPF is offering short-term grant funding to incentivize and expand training opportunities for the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) workforce. The grants will fund higher-level skills that will promote greater retention within the HCBS workforce. The maximum award amount per application for direct care workers is $500 and for HCBS providers is $100,000.

Eligible applicants include:

  • Individual, age 18 or older, who is currently working in a direct care role within any of Colorado’s Home & Community-Based Service (HCBS) Waivers; or
  • Individual, age 18 or older, who desires training to enter direct care within Colorado’s HCBS Waiver workforce; or
  • Also included within this workforce, are Certified Nurse Aides and Home Health Aides within Long-Term Home Health; or
  • Currently enrolled Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver providers; and
  • Training vendor/provider that develops/delivers training/specialization for the HCBS workforce. 

Interested in learning more about how this grant could support higher-level skills for the HCBS workforce?

Visit the grant program information page to get more details and apply today!

Questions? Email us at hcpf_dcworkforce@state.co.us 

Upcoming ARPA Stakeholder Engagement

To see all the meetings listed below on a calendar or to find meeting materials and recordings from previous ARPA-related Stakeholder Engagement, visit the ARPA Stakeholder Engagement webpage anytime.

Community First Choice (CFC) Council

The CFC Council collaborates with and advises HCPF on the design and implementation of a CFC option in Colorado. The CFC Council consists primarily of individuals with disabilities, those 65 years or older, and their representatives to help ensure CFC is implemented in a way that best meets the needs of Coloradans with disabilities.

If you need assistance accessing the meeting webinar link or call-in number, contact the CFC team. For more information, see the CFC Stakeholder Opportunities webpage.

The meeting will be held:

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

10 to 11:30 a.m. MT

Join via Google Meet

Join by Phone:

1-260-230-1249, PIN: 719 313 221#

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Direct Care Workforce Collaborative (DCWC) Training & Career Advancement Action Group

This Action Group works collaboratively with stakeholders to identify and move forward strategies to support the recruitment and retention of Colorado's direct care workforce. This group intends to meet every other month on the first Friday of the month from 9 – 10 a.m. MT.

The meeting will be held:

Friday, May 5, 2023

9-10 a.m. MT

Join via Zoom

Join via Phone:

(Toll-free) 877-853-5257

Meeting ID: 969 4053 6000, Passcode: 115140

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ARPA 2.02 Statewide Mobile Crisis Response Bi-Weekly Technical Assistance

This is an opportunity for Administrative Service Organizations (ASO) / Regional Accountable Entities (RAE), community and members, providers, and any interested stakeholder to ask questions and receive technical assistance related to implementing the Mobile Crisis Medicaid Benefit. These meetings will occur bi-weekly starting March 16, 2023, through at least July 2023. Email Emily Holcomb for more information.

The meetings will be held:

Thursday, May 11, 2023


Thursday, May 25, 2023

11 a.m. - 12 p.m. MT

Join via Zoom

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Featured Opportunity

Webinar: Quarterly ARPA Updates - All Stakeholders

An update for all interested stakeholders on key projects specifically funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 within the Office of Community Living and the Health Policy Office.

Audience: Members, Family, Advocates, Case Management Agencies (CMAs), Community Centered Boards (CCBs), Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Providers, Nursing Facilities, Providers, Single Entry Point (SEP) Agencies

Webinar documents are on the OCL Webinar Page and the ARPA Stakeholder Engagement Page.

The webinar will be held:

Thursday, May 18, 2023

3 - 4:30 p.m. MT

Join via Zoom

Join by Phone: 

(Toll-free) 877-853-5257

Meeting ID: 993 1700 7314, Passcode: 396389

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Direct Care Workforce Compensation & Benefits Action Group


This Action Group works collaboratively with stakeholders to identify and move forward strategies to support the recruitment and retention of Colorado's direct care workforce. This group intends to meet every other month on the third Friday from 1 – 2 p.m. MT.

For more information, please see the Direct Care Workforce Collaborative webpage.


The meeting will be held:

Friday, May 19, 2022

1-2 p.m. MT


Join via Zoom


Join by Phone:

(Toll-free) 1-877-853-5257

Meeting ID: 993 1700 7314, Passcode: 396389

- - - -

Direct Care Workforce Value & Awareness Action Group


Supporting the Direct Care Workforce Collaborative, this Action Group brings stakeholders together to develop awareness and advocacy strategies that increase community understanding and support for this workforce. All interested stakeholders are welcome.


For more information, please see the Direct Care Workforce Collaborative webpage.


The meeting will be held:

Friday, May 26, 2022

1-2 p.m. MT


Join via Zoom


Join by Phone:

(Toll-free) 877-853-5257

Meeting ID: 969 40536000, Passcode: 115140

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Reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request for persons with disabilities. Auxiliary aids and services for individuals with disabilities and language services for individuals whose first language is not English may be provided upon request. Please notify John Barry at 303-866-3173 or John.R.Barry@state.co.us or the 504/ADA Coordinator at hcpf504ada@state.co.us at least one week prior to the meeting to make arrangements.

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