Dec. 15, 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

Behavioral Health Transformation, Protection and Coverage 

The Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) is collaborating with other state agencies and stakeholders to develop a comprehensive, equitable, accountable and effective behavioral health safety net. This requires development of new policies and accompanying payment models to support a robust and diverse behavioral health provider network. Effective January 2024, the State Board of Human Services unanimously passed new Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) rules that update the definition of behavioral health providers, safety net services, and licensing for substance use and mental health providers.  

Among other changes, community mental health centers will transition and Comprehensive Behavioral Health Safety Net Providers and Essential Behavioral Health Safety Net Providers will start to be approved. HCPF has created new Medicaid payment models that help ensure these organizations have flexible, sustainable funding that reflects the significant costs of safety net services. Comprehensive Behavioral Health Providers will have an increased focus on substance use, recovery, and whole person health. Essential Behavioral Health Providers will specialize in substance use disorder, opioid addiction and medication assisted treatment, families involved with child welfare, health related social needs, or serving those who have a history with the criminal justice system. Both will serve high priority populations. Thank you to the many providers, advocates, stakeholders and more who helped inform these rules and accompanying payment models, as part of achieving our shared goal of transforming the behavioral health system. 

HCPF is also working with the legislature on significant commitments to support the families of youth with high-acuity behavioral health needs. We also welcome you to review our recently released behavioral health reports: 2023 Behavioral Health Annual ReportHouse Bill 23-1269 Directed Payment Legislative ReportAccountable Care Collaborative Implementation Report, and the Criminal Justice Coverage Reports. Please look for an invitation to register for our upcoming webinar on key behavioral health policies, initiatives and highlights from these recently released reports - all designed to transform our behavioral health system. 

Our transformative behavioral health advances are also incorporated into our Accountable Care Collaborative (ACC) Phase III redesign work, which modernizes and advances our Medicaid care delivery approach beginning July 2025. The ACC Phase III Concept Stage Summary reflects responses from >1,100 attendees at >30 stakeholder sessions and >160 responses to our online feedback survey between August 2023 to October 2023. After careful consideration of the available data, stakeholder feedback and collaboration with the BHA, HCPF is moving forward with the four-region map, as proposed in the Concept Paper for ACC Phase III. Over the past six months, HCPF has held stakeholder meetings with more than 1,000 attendees to inform this decision. We also published our ACC legislative report Dec. 1, which reviews performance for the last fiscal year.  

HCPF’s fiscal year 2024-25 budget includes about $1.2 billion Total Funds allocated to behavioral health. Visit our legislator resource center to learn more about how our budget invests in behavioral health.  

As winter is upon us, remember that vaccination is the best way to protect individuals from flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), COVID-19, and other preventable infections. There is no out of pocket cost for Health First Colorado and CHP+ members, for appropriate vaccines; those who need help making a COVID-19 vaccine appointment may call 1-800-232-0233. Health First Colorado members who need help finding a ride to a vaccine appointment can use the Non-Emergent Medical Transportation benefit. And feel free to leverage resources in these CDPHE toolkits on flu, RSV and COVID-19 and childhood and adolescent immunizations to achieve our shared health and wellness goals. 

To Keep Coloradans Covered, please continue to use our prepared toolkits, available in the top 11 languages used by our members, to help people complete the renewal process or transition to other affordable health coverage: Update Your AddressUnderstanding the Renewal Process and Take Action on Your RenewalEmployers can post these flyers to remind employees about Health First Colorado renewals and where appropriate, transitioning to employer-sponsored coverage.  

Last, to keep up with the evolving discussions on HCPF’s overall fiscal year 2024-25 budget, feel free to listen to HCPF’s Dec. 19 Joint Budget Committee budget hearing.  

Best wishes for an enjoyable and healthy holiday season!  

Breaking News

eConsult Platform Update:

The anticipated go-live date for Colorado Medicaid eConsult is fast approaching! Health First Colorado providers will have access to a free, secure electronic consultation platform on Feb. 1, 2024.

Colorado Medicaid eConsult aims to improve access to specialty care for members. The platform is designed to assist participating providers in the management of member health care needs with the electronic clinical guidance of specialty providers. It is an alternative to the traditional curbside consultation between providers and reduces unnecessary face-to-face visits for members.  

If you are interested in becoming a participating primary care medical provider (PCMP) or specialty provider please contact our eConsult Vendor, Safety Net Connect at

HCPF also invites you to register for our upcoming webinar to gain in-depth information about Colorado Medicaid eConsults, as well as to ask questions, or share your feedback. 

Jan. 10, 2024, 8-9:30 a.m. Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Topic: Enhancing Access: eConsult’s for Specialty Providers

Register in advance for this webinar

Anticipated Timeline

  • Fall/Winter 2023 - Implementation Activities
  • Feb. 1, 2024 - anticipated Go Live

Note that the timeline is subject to change without prior notice and is only provided as a reference.

For more information, visit the eConsult Platform webpage or email

Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) Provider Training:

Providers are strongly encouraged to register for training opportunities regarding the RAC program, including:

  • What to expect if audited by the Colorado RAC
  • Audit timelines
  • Usage of the Health Management Systems, Inc. (HMS) Colorado RAC provider portal for audit tracking, record uploads & transparent reporting
  • Information on provider rights & responsibilities

HMS and HCPF have created quarterly meetings for different audit types including:

  • Complex Audits, Medical Records Reviews
  • Hospice Specific Complex Audits, Medical Records Reviews
  • Automated Audits, Data & Claims Reviews

Colorado RAC 101: Complex, Medical Records Reviews Training

Feb. 20, 2024, 2 to 3 p.m. MST Registration Link

May 15, 2024, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. MST Registration Link

Colorado RAC 101: Hospice, Medical Records Reviews Training

March 14, 2024, 1 to 2 p.m. MST Registration Link

June 18, 2024, 2 to 3 p.m. MST Registration Link

Colorado RAC 101: Automated, Data & Claims Reviews Training

Jan. 16, 2024, 10 to 11 a.m. MST Registration Link

April 16, 2024, 10 to 11 a.m. MST Registration Link

Recorded training and presentations for the HMS Colorado RAC 101 and for the HMS Colorado RAC Provider Portal are on the HMS Colorado RAC website at under the tab on the left titled “Resources & Informational Documentation.”

Resources and How to Stay Informed:

The PHE Planning Resource Center will be updated as new information about the end of COVID-19 public health emergency and other COVID-19 policy evolves. To stay informed about the latest updates, sign up for the COVID-19 public health emergency updates monthly newsletter

In addition to the policy changes connected to the end of the public health emergency, HCPF has developed extensive partner toolkits regarding the end of the continuous coverage requirement. Update Your Address, Understanding the Renewal Process and Take Action on Your Renewal toolkits all include resources to help members take action to keep their coverage. A new joint webpage includes partner resources and information for those who may need to transition to other coverage.

Helpful Resources

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Join a Public Rule Review Meeting

Apply for a State of CO Job

Female provider, kneeling next to parents holding small child.


In October 2023, there were

1,506,863 Coloradans enrolled in Health First Colorado and

57,405 enrolled in Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+).