April 10, 2023

At A Glance

At a Glance is a Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) publication that provides information on major initiatives, policy changes and program updates. Feel free to share At a Glance with your colleagues. Find previous editions of At a Glance on our website. Thank you for your interest!

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A Message from the Executive Director

Policy priorities and partnerships past the pandemic


Thank you for your partnership in helping Keep Coloradans Covered as the state begins to act upon renewal determinations starting in May, after a pause of more than three years and in accordance with federal action mandating all states to do so. In March, HCPF, in collaboration with our county partners, began sending renewal notices to members whose renewal anniversary is in May; this process will continue month by month through April 2024 to re-determine the eligibility status of all 1.78 million Medicaid and CHP+ members. As of March 24, about 65,000 households were up for coverage renewal in May. Early reports show that our automation efforts over the last year resulted in about one-third, or 21,500 households, being auto-renewed (ex parte), meaning they do not need to take any action to stay covered. The remainder, around 43,500 households, will need to take action when they receive their renewal notice electronically or through the mail in an envelope with red lettering reading - “URGENT - PLEASE REPLY”. They will need to complete their renewal paperwork online at co.gov/PEAK, in the Health First Colorado app, or by mail. Members must sign and return their paperwork by the deadline listed on their renewal. 


Partners, thank you for fulfilling your role to help Keep Coloradans Covered through this important chapter. Hundreds of providers and community organizations have aligned to increase member outreach, resulting in a 34% increase in members who signed up for emails and texts so we can reach them with important Medicaid and CHP+ renewal messages. We sincerely appreciate the collective, collaborative, united approach to executing on this important campaign to Keep Coloradans Covered. Please continue to help educate members by:


This topic and more was featured at last month’s Health Cabinet Summit, which included 21 speakers sharing insights on prescription drug affordability, rural hospital investment opportunities, hospital affordability, value based payments and an update on the end of the federal public health emergency. We invite you to visit our website to review Summit materials or watch the recording.


Also at this Summit:

  • We were joined by an expert panel to take a closer look at hospital affordability and community responsiveness. In 2020, hospitals invested 7% of their patient revenues ($965 million) in community benefits, which is significant, appreciated and valued. At the same time, opportunities remain to strengthen hospital accountability to engage, review and incorporate community input into how to invest their community benefit dollars. HB 23-1243 Hospital Community Benefit seeks to improve the alignment between community feedback and hospital spending. 
  • HCPF released hospital accountability and affordability resources, including the Hospital Insights Bulletin, the Breakeven Analysis tool and the Hospital Transparency Scorecard
  • This Hospital Insights Bulletin serves as an overarching summary of six recent releases on Colorado hospital financials. This consists of an analysis of the quality of hospitals’ Price Transparency postings; a new tool for and analysis of hospitals’ breakeven rates; a preview of profits and reserves information for Colorado’s major hospital systems in 2022; and three recently released financial reports on costs, prices, profits and community benefit, with links provided here: Colorado Healthcare Affordability and Sustainability Enterprise (CHASE) Annual Report, the Hospital Expenditure Report and the Hospital Community Benefit Accountability.  
  • The Breakeven Analysis tool provides better insights into what hospitals need to charge commercial carriers in order to offset the underpayments of public payers. Colorado ranks sixth in the nation for the highest hospital prices and fourth for both the highest patient services profits and total profits, which incorporate investment earnings. Both are indicators of price reduction opportunities. This tool allows carriers, employers, other payers and communities to negotiate price reductions with their hospital partners in a more informed way. 
  • The Hospital Transparency Scorecard shows 26.5% of Colorado hospitals have an overall quality rating of Good, while 47.0% ranked as Fair and 26.5% ranked Poor. Note that SB 23-252: Hospital Price Transparency strengthens hospital compliance incentives with the federal requirement to post hospital prices by health plan, which is critical to improving these compliance statistics and ultimately achieving the goals and outcomes of price transparency. 


Related, HB 23-1226: Hospital Transparency And Reporting Requirements seeks to advance hospital financial transparency by enabling access to quarterly - or more timely and therefore meaningful - financial information which will also facilitate earlier engagement to support struggling hospitals; evaluation of the affordability impact of physician acquisitions; insights into profits and reserves leaving the state; executive compensation; improved Board-CEO alignment with community interests, and more. 


Additionally at the summit, our session on prescription drug affordability highlighted that in 2021, nearly 10% of Coloradans were unable to fill prescriptions due to cost, and that prescription drug costs are the leading contributor to rising health care costs. HB 23-1201 Prescription Drug Benefits Contract Term Requirements seeks to address this by requiring pharmacy benefit managers and insurance carrier middlemen to only charge consumers the amount they paid or less, thereby eliminating spread pricing, or up-charging. Attendees polled at the summit indicated they were most excited about spread pricing policy as a way to save money on prescription drugs. For more on HCPF’s legislative agenda, please visit our Legislator Resource Center.


Following our March 15 Summit, we hope to see you at our April 12 HCPF Maternal Health Equity Webinar. At this webinar, we will review our recently released Maternal Health Equity Report on maternal health during the COVID-19 pandemic, the lived experience of members and HCPF’s roadmap to improve maternal health care and equity. The event will include remarks by U.S. Health & Human Services Regional Director Lily Griego, member and provider experiences, and thoughts from community partners. Register today to join this important conversation on improving health outcomes and care for the 43% of Colorado births we cover.


In other developments at the Capitol, HCPF is very appreciative of Governor Polis’ budget, the difficult decisions made by the Joint Budget Committee, and the legislature’s work to finalize the budget including continued investments in health care. Some of the highlights from HCPF’s FY 2023-24 budget, awaiting General Assembly approval, include: 

  • 3% across-the-board provider rate increase, on top of this year’s 2% increase
  • 16% rate increase to primary care medical providers participating in alternative payment models to reward better care, healthier outcomes and affordability
  • Continued increased wages for providers caring for people with disabilities
  • Incentive payments for rural providers
  • $21 million for counties to support coverage continuity through the end of the public health emergency
  • Authority to eliminate co-pays for most Medicaid benefits


We thank you and our many partners for all you do every day to care for and support our Medicaid and CHP+ members, to Keep Coloradans Covered, for collaborating to drive health care affordability, for increasing Medicaid member access to care, and saving Coloradans and our employers money on health care. 

Breaking News

Accountable Care Collaborative Public Listening Session:

We need your feedback!

Please join HCPF to finalize the geographic boundaries for the Regional Accountable Entities (RAEs) and Behavioral Health Administrative Service Organizations (BHASOs) as part of Phase III of the Accountable Care Collaborative (ACC). We will be hosting statewide and county-specific discussions about placement of specific counties within these boundaries.

HCPF created the ACC in 2011 to deliver cost-effective, quality health care services to its Colorado Medicaid members and to improve the health of Coloradans. The ACC currently features RAEs operating in seven regions. Current contracts between HCPF and the RAEs will end on June 30, 2025. Additional information is available on the ACC Phase III webpage.

HCPF will host two statewide conversations open to all interested stakeholders:

  • Statewide Conversation # 1 | Monday, April 17, 5 to 6 p.m. via Zoom | Register
  • Statewide Conversation # 2 | Thursday, April 20, 4 to 5 p.m. via Zoom | Register

For the following regional conversations, we ask that participation be prioritized for people who provide services, access services, and/or live in the county or counties indicated.

  • Regional Conversation: Larimer and Weld Counties | Tuesday, April 11, 5 to 6 p.m. via Zoom | Register
  • Regional Conversation: Elbert County | Thursday, April 13, 12 to 1 p.m. via Zoom | Register
  • Regional Conversation: Park and Lake Counties | Wednesday, April 19, 12 to 1 p.m. via Zoom | Register

For stakeholders already engaged with our Program Improvement Advisory Committee (PIAC), this topic will be discussed in the April Committee and Subcommittee meetings. More information about these meetings are on the Accountable Care Collaborative Program Improvement Advisory Committee Webpage.

Spanish interpretation, American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation, and live captioning will be available for the Statewide Conversations on April 17 and April 20. Reasonable accommodations for all other meetings will be provided upon request. 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 hcpf_acc@state.co.us or the 504/ADA Coordinator at hcpf504ada@state.co.us at least

one week prior to the meeting to make arrangements.

For more information about ACC Phase III updates and announcements for public meetings, please visit the ACC Phase III webpage.

Health Equity Plan Public Meetings:

HCPF is committed to ongoing and sustained health equity for all our members. 

The purpose of the health equity public meeting is to provide space for providers, members, and community stakeholders to learn about the Department Health Equity Plan, and to provide input and feedback. Our goal is to establish the current state of health equity, and strategically look at innovative ways to improve health outcomes and decrease health disparities for our members in Colorado.

To achieve better health outcomes, stakeholder engagement is critical. Register for one of the following upcoming public meetings:

Feedback from sessions will inform the Dept. health equity strategy & implementation.

Health equity happens when everyone has equal opportunity to be as healthy as they can be. No one's race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography or preferred language should negatively affect their health care. Health equity work includes removing obstacles to health care access and positive health outcomes.  

Child Tax Credits: Help Us Spread the Word!

Please help remind Health First Colorado and CHP+ members of the 2023 Child Tax Credit (CTC). This federal tax credit can help save Coloradans money. Unlike other tax credits, these are available even to those who earn very little income. Individuals only need to file a simple tax return to get the payment. Members can get started at www.getaheadcolorado.org.

Communication Toolkits and Resources:

HCPF has been working with stakeholders and partners to develop communication toolkits to prepare members for the return to normal renewal processes. 

The Take Action on Your Renewal toolkit is new! The materials in this toolkit are designed to encourage members to look for their renewal packet in the mail and PEAK mailbox and take action when they get it. This toolkit includes general member awareness outreach partners can share in their websites, newsletters, social media as well as direct-to-member email and text messaging communications. It also includes downloadable, customizable flyers. These resources are currently available in English and Spanish. 

The Preparing for Renewals toolkit includes renewal process information that explains key terms and provides sample notices so partners can see exactly what the member will see when they go through the renewal process. In addition, both partners and members can view short videos in English and Spanish on key actions: updating an address, completing the renewal process, and transitioning to other coverage if a member no longer qualifies.

Update Your Address Campaign:

We know that many members have moved over the past few years. It is crucial that we have correct addresses so that members get the information they need to keep or change their coverage. Please continue to help us spread the word to Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) members to update their contact information. Update Your Address tools are available in the top 11 languages for HFC members.

Health First Colorado Renewals Page:

In preparation for renewals to start back up, HCPF has added an informational webpage for members on the Health First Colorado website. Members can find general information about the renewal process and answers to frequently asked questions. This page is published in English and Spanish

For the latest information on returning to normal renewal processes and other communication resources, visit the COVID-19 PHE Planning webpage

Helpful Resources

Read Health First Colorado News

Download Health First Colorado Resources

Find PEAK Resources

Join a Public Rule Review Meeting

Apply for a State of CO Job

Getting Health Care Coverage Through Health First Colorado & CHP+
Female provider, kneeling next to parents holding small child.


In February 2023, there were

1,702,359 Coloradans enrolled in Health First Colorado and

47,177 enrolled in Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+).