January 2024

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

Legislative Agenda, KeepCOCovered & Timely Reminders 

HCPF’s 2024 Legislative Agenda

The Department of Health Care Policy & Financing’s 2024 legislative agenda includes proposals that address the needs of children with autism, people with disabilities, uninsured Coloradans and the providers who care for them, as well as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. It also increases government efficiency and decreases regulatory burden for certain providers. As our legislative agenda is still evolving, we invite you to monitor HCPF’s 2024 Legislative Agenda Overview to keep pace with our emerging intentions and high priority bills, some of which are explained below:

  • Expand Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) to Include Services for People with Autism. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) treatment is not currently covered under CHP+. This bill expands CHP+ to provide ASD coverage, which is even more important given the end of the public health emergency; if a child with autism moves from Health First Colorado to CHP+ through the renewal process, that child will lose access to services that address ASD without this coverage addition.
  • Presumptive Eligibility for Individuals with Disabilities. This bill allows HCPF to pursue an 1115 waiver to expand presumptive eligibility, which will facilitate more timely access to services in a community setting for individuals with disabilities.
  • Revise and Clarify Safety Net Requirements for Primary Care and Hospital Services. This bill sunsets the Colorado Indigent Care Program (CICP) as a distinct program due to repealed funding in 2021. It adds funding to the Primary Care Fund so that Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) can receive payments for care provided to uninsured Coloradans up to 250%, from the current 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).
  • Medicaid for Certain DACA Recipients. This bill aligns state law with proposed federal regulations. It would allow HCPF to draw a federal match to cover DACA pregnant adults and children under 19 years of age who are qualified noncitizens and meet Medicaid eligibility criteria other than citizenship. 
  • Interagency Legislative Report Cleanup. This multi-agency government efficiency bill eliminates duplicative and outdated reporting, reduces administrative burden, aligns due dates to improve statutory alignment, and creates implementation efficiencies. It further makes a variety of technical changes to multiple state agencies’ required legislative reports to ensure relevancy, timeliness, accountability and transparency.

HCPF is also working with the legislature on significant commitments to support the families of youth with high-acuity behavioral health needs. 

We also invite you to review our fiscal year 2024-25 Budget Agenda Summary, our Joint Budget Committee hearing materials from our hearing on Dec. 19, and my related November message on the budget. HCPF’s proposed fiscal year 2024-25 budget includes $16.4B Total Fund and $5.0B General Fund, assuming an average of 1.6M covered lives over the fiscal year. This represents about 38% of the Governor’s Total Fund operating budget and 31% of the General Fund operating budget. HCPF’s budget requests focus on increasing community provider rates through targeted and across-the-board rate adjustments, ensuring access to behavioral health services for Health First Colorado members, increasing access and support for evidence-based programs that have proven successful, and ensuring Colorado is in compliance with federal laws and regulations. Review the materials associated with OSPB’s December Forecast and look for HCPF’s February forecast, which will update our prior November fiscal year 2024-25 forecast. These factors play importantly into the final Joint Budget Committee Figure Setting process, which typically takes place in March.

We also invite you to listen to our Jan. 19 SMART Act hearing to learn more about HCPF’s strategic priorities, opportunities and challenges, legislative agenda, performance against published goals, and more. And we welcome your review of our fiscal year 2022-23 annual report to the community

Call to Action: Help Us Keep Coloradans Covered

Our top priority continues to be to Keep Coloradans Covered, now that Colorado has resumed regular eligibility reviews for people with Health First Colorado and CHP+ after a 3+ year pause during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). Thank you for your active engagement with members, community partners, and advocates leading up to and during the unwind period and for your continued dialogue to improve the renewal process. Based on stakeholder feedback, we have made the following changes:

  • Renewal packets are shorter, and a colored Colorado State seal has been added to help mitigate it being mistaken for junk mail.
  • HCPF is leveraging additional flexibility from the federal government to provide vulnerable populations with a 60-calendar-day extension to complete the renewal process. This includes long-term care (LTC) members on waivered services and buy-in recipients who have not returned their renewal packet on time. This flexibility will remain in place through June 2024. 
  • We’re improving the PEAK and Health First Colorado app user experience by making it easier to submit renewal materials and monitor the status of a submitted renewal.
  • HCPF has created and advanced toolkits to help members and partners complete the renewal process or transition to other affordable health coverage. These are now available in the top 11 languages spoken by our members: Update Your Address, Understanding the Renewal Process and Take Action on Your Renewal. Flyers have been developed for employers to distribute to employees to remind them to look for their Health First Colorado renewal packet and where appropriate, the means to transition to employer-sponsored coverage, and the importance of doing so in a timely manner. We ask that all stakeholders leverage these tools. 

All related materials are on our website, and our reporting webpage is updated monthly. Thank you for continuing to visit our websites and reporting pages to secure updated information and tools. 

Timely Reminders

January is also the beginning of tax filing season. The Colorado Child Tax Credit is available to Colorado residents with incomes of $75,000 or less ($85,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly) and with children under age six as of Dec. 31, 2023. Thanks to state lawmakers and the Governor for new relief for kids, older adults and low-income Coloradans — take advantage, for this upcoming tax season only (2023 Tax Year), of lower property taxes, increased tax refunds for low-income Coloradans, increased earned income tax credits for working low-income Coloradans, rental relief, and free lunches for low-income kids through summer of 2024. Please visit Get Ahead Colorado for assistance as needed. 

Also, employers interested in hiring new Americans legally eligible and ready to work can complete this short form, and the Office of New Americans will soon be in touch.

Finally, please save the date! On Feb. 26 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., please join experts from HCPF and the Behavioral Health Administration for a webinar on Medicaid behavioral health transformation, relevant policy changes, how changes are impacting communities, and what is coming next. Registration links and information coming soon. 

Thank you for your continued partnership, and best wishes for a healthy, rewarding and transformational 2024! 

Breaking News

eConsult Platform Goes Live:

Colorado Medicaid eConsult is officially live and operational! Health First Colorado providers can now access a secure, statewide electronic consultation platform for free through ColoradoMedicaideConsult.com

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. 

Interested providers may contact the eConsult Vendor Safety Net Connect (SNC) at Coloradosupport@safetynetconnect.com to enroll as a participating provider or to learn more about the platform.

For more information, visit the eConsult Platform webpage, refer to the billing guidelines listed in the Telemedicine Billing Manual or email HCPF_econsult@state.co.us.

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.”

Reminder: Resources to Support Eligibility Renewals Related to the Public Health Emergency (PHE) Unwind:

With the end of the public health emergency (PHE), members are once again required to have their Medicaid eligibility renewal on an annual basis. This is a new process for many members and requires the timely completion of a renewal packet. The following resources are available to support members through the renewal process:


  • A guide specifically for helping LTSS members through the renewal process.




  • The KeepCOCovered Toolkit includes information about other health insurance options. 



Additionally, HCPF is leveraging flexibility from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide a 60-calendar-day extension to complete the renewal process for our vulnerable populations, including long-term care (LTC), members on waivered services, and buy-in recipients who have not returned their renewal packet on time during COVID unwind.


This extension also allows HCPF to do additional outreach to these members when they are up for renewal, while providing extra time for the members to return the information and the counties to process it.


The extension is in effect Sept. 5, 2023, through the remainder of the unwind period, June 2024. It does not affect members who have already submitted their renewal packet to the county or those who have completed the renewal process.


If a member has already turned in their renewal packet and still needs to submit additional information, the county may grant additional time through a Good Faith Extension for a member to turn in this information.


For more information about the extension and frequently asked questions please see the HCPF updates.

Acentra Health Update:

One of HCPF's vendors, Acentra Health (formerly Kepro), announced that it has acquired a new company. This will have no impact on HCPF's current contract with Acentra. Please read Acentra's press release to learn more. 

Helpful Resources

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Female provider, kneeling next to parents holding small child.


In November 2023, there were

1,411,086 Coloradans enrolled in Health First Colorado and

62,550 enrolled in Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+).