March 16, 2021
General Assembly Newsletter
Stay up-to-date on what's new at the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing with our newsletter created specifically for the Colorado General Assembly.
Editor's Note
This newsletter is published monthly while the legislature is in session, and quarterly outside of the legislative session. The next edition will be published in April 2021.   
Please continue to direct any questions or constituent issues to the Department's legislative team: 

A Message from Executive Director Kim Bimestefer 
This month marks one year into the COVID-19 pandemic - one year of immeasurable grief for lost loved ones and friends, one year of dynamic transformation, one year of coming together to help each other through an unprecedented economic downturn, one year of incredibly difficult decisions.  

For those who have lost loved ones and friends, our hearts are with you; we hope that time brings you peace.  

Thank you to our county partners, eligibility workers, caregivers, contractors, advocates and many others who have overcome challenges to help us serve the 1.44 million Coloradans who are accessing our safety net coverage programs - coverage is even more critical during a pandemic. I, and our HCPF staff, am honored to work with you and appreciate your passion for service. Together, we are now serving 1 in 4 Coloradans. In fact, we just crossed the 200,000 mark this month, representing the additional Health First Colorado and CHP+ members we are serving. Our federal partners have said they expect to keep the Public Health Emergency in place throughout 2021, which means our membership will continue to grow throughout 2021.To meet this demand, I’m pleased to report that we are well on our way to achieving our goal of enrolling 10,000 new providers by June 30, 2021.  

Thank you to you – our new providers – and to all our care providers and first responders for putting all of us first at your own personal risk. Your selflessness has been exemplary, and we are very grateful. Thank you to our scientists, researchers and innovators: the vaccines speed to market has been miraculous. Lives will be saved. The economy will recover, and many who have lost their jobs will be employed again because of your passion, efforts and advances.  
This month, Colorado will surpass 1 million Coloradans being vaccinated with one dose and 500,000 with their second dose. The most recent information is available at With the recent approvals of a new one dose vaccine and with the industry joining forces to speed vaccine production, we are hopeful the immunization numbers will improve significantly in the coming months in parallel to the growing vaccine supply. To maximize this opportunity and to protect our members, we are working with our Regional Accountable Entities (RAEs) to ensure all our members have access to the vaccine and to help members understand where to go and when it’s their turn to get the vaccine. We are also working with our community partners to help overcome resistance and misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines with the goal of improving vaccine uptake and inoculation. Last, we are collaborating to get the vaccine to our members who are homebound or otherwise hard to reach.   

Thank you to our HCPF staff. This past year, you plunged boldly into a chapter that offered no playbook. You pulled together to serve more and do more while facing a state fiscal crisis. You reprioritized to meet the urgent demands. You created new forecasting and budgeting models and tools that recognized changing economic and utilization insights. You passed emergency rules to help our members more safely access care, while giving our providers more flexibility to adapt to an emerging “new normal” while helping reduce administrative burden. To protect those most vulnerable to COVID-19, you teamed-up with CDPHE and the Governor’s Office to create a Residential Strike Force focused on keeping our members in nursing homes and congregate settings safe. 

Just as we have done this past year, we will have to lean on each other to get through the next phase of this pandemic. As we turn the corner in battling COVID-19 and the economic downturn, I will continue to ask for your help as trusted voices, partners, leaders and care givers. Thank you in advance for your partnership, collaboration, help and support as we navigate through this next chapter together. 

HCPF 2021 Legislative Agenda
A brief overview of the Department’s legislative agenda can be found on the Department’s website. This year, our agenda bills focus on: 
  • Telemedicine Policy Refinements 
  • Long-term Services and Support Case Management Redesign (HB21-1187) 
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities: Demonstration of Need and Technical Changes 
  • Add Remote Supports to Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Programs 
  • Expand Canadian Prescription Drug Importation Program (SB21-123) 
  • Supported Decision-making Agreement (SB21-075) 
  • Establish Behavioral Health Authority (HB21-1097) 
HCPF FY 2021-22 Budget Agenda
A summary of the Department's discretionary budget requests submitted for consideration to the Colorado General Assembly, as part of the Governor's Fiscal Year (FY) 2021-22 budget, is now posted on our website. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the budget requests focus on addressing the state’s current budget shortfall while still prioritizing and protecting member benefits and services given budget constraints. 
New Telemedicine Report Available 
The Department’s Telemedicine Evaluation Report is now available on the Department’s website. This report summarizes the research and work completed by the Department from June 2020 through December 2020. It contains an evaluation of the policy changes in telemedicine since the beginning of the pandemic and what we know thus far about the impacts on access to care and utilization, health equity, quality and member outcomes, and payment and reimbursement. 
For more information visit The fee-for-service telemedicine utilization data is posted on a bi-monthly basis and can be found on the provider telemedicine web-page
Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) Update 
Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) is an electronic system that verifies home and community-based service visits by documenting six points of data, including: type, date, and location of service; individuals receiving and providing the service; and time the service begins and ends. 
On Aug. 3, 2020, the use of EVV became mandated by 10 CCR 2505-10 8.001. 
The Department last communicated to stakeholders that the pre-payment claim review would begin to deny claims without corresponding EVV records on March 1, 2021. While the Department has seen significant increases in utilization, the current rate is still a cause for concern. Accordingly, the pre-payment claim review has been delayed again. The Department will monitor technical issues, provider utilization, and rate of successful claim matching to EVV records over the coming weeks. The Department willnotify stakeholders of the new date the EVV pre-prepayment claim review will be implemented at least one month before claims are subject to denial. 
More information on the EVV implementation timeline is located inOperational Memo 20-020
For additional information about EVV and support resources, please visit 
Hospital Transformation Program (HTP) Update 
Hospital HTP Application and Portal Training 
On March 4, the Department hosted a training for HTP participating hospitals to go over the HTP hospital application process and an orientation of the submission portal. As a reminder, per a special communication from Executive Director Kim Bimestefer in November 2020, the HTP implementation date was moved to Apr. 1, 2021. The training is posted on the HTP website
Program Updates 
We’d like to remind program participants that updated documents related to HTP implementation have been posted to the HTP website
Please direct any questions about these updated documents to the HTP inbox

Updates from the Office of eHealth Innovation (OeHI) 
This week, several updates came from OeHI of interest to hospitals and stakeholders. 
New Care Coordination Resources 
As part of Colorado's Health IT Roadmap Care Coordination Initiative, OeHI and the eHealth Commission developed new resources to increase collaboration, alignment and coordination of efforts. See below and please share with your networks. 
The Social-Health Information Exchange (S-HIE) white paper titled Advancing a Coordinated Ecosystem for a Social Health Information Exchange (S-HIE) aims to create a shared vision among Colorado stakeholders interested in improving whole-person care coordination. 
The Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) Screening Guide titled Implementation Guidance For Screening for Social Determinants of Health in an Electronic Health Record aims to support health care providers (such as community health centers, independent practices, health systems and community mental health centers) interested in screening for SDoH and documenting the results in an electronic health record. 
Both resources are available on OeHI’s Care Coordination page
State's Prescriber Tool- Licenses Available 
As part of Colorado's Health IT Roadmap efforts to support the Polis-Primavera Administration's bold priorities to improve access to affordable and high quality health care, the Department is providing a limited number of FREE licenses to the state's prescriber tool to eligible Medicaid Providers. This is phase one of several phases that leverage foundational health IT infrastructure, policies and innovations. Click here to request a license. 
Mental Health Parity Public Comment Opportunity: 
The Department has begun work on the annual Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) Report to assess the compliance of the Health First Colorado benefit with mental health parity laws. To inform this work, the Department is gathering stakeholder thoughts and experiences related to mental health parity that will be used to design the mental health parity analyses and inform its annual report. 
Individuals interested in submitting written comments can use this form. The form will be open until April 1. The purpose is to collect feedback from stakeholders; the Department will not be responding to submitted comments. 
Share How We Are Helping Families Get a Boost 
Please share this information with your networks. Content for newsletters, websites and other publications is below in English and Spanish. Images and video in English and Spanish to accompany the content is also available. We appreciate your partnership! 
One in four Coloradans are covered by Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program). Coloradans from across the state and all walks of life get their health care from Health First Colorado, including people who never thought they’d need public health insurance. Arlene and Pedro were able to get health care coverage for their girls from Health First Colorado. They want you to know that everyone needs help sometimes, and applying for Health First Colorado is easy. Watch the Soto Ynigo family’s story and listen to Health First Colorado members tell in their own words how Health First Colorado was there to help. 
1 de cada 4 ciudadanos de Colorado tiene cobertura de Health First Colorado (programa de Medicaid de Colorado). Los ciudadanos de Colorado de todo el estado y de todos las esferas sociales reciben atención médica de Health First Colorado, incluso las personas que nunca pensaron que necesitarían un seguro médico público. Arlene y Pedro pudieron conseguir cobertura de atención médica para sus hijas con Health First Colorado. Quieren que sepa que todos necesitamos ayuda en algún momento, y solicitor cobertura de Health First Colorado es sencillo. Mire la historia de la familia Soto Ynigo y escuche a afiliados de Health First Colorado contar con sus propias palabras cómo Health First Colorado estuvo allí para ayudar. Otros afiliados de Health First Colorado quieren que los ciudadanos de Colorado sepan que es posible que reúnan las condiciones para una cobertura de atención médica de Buena calidad. Infórmese más en
HCPF Submits New Reports & LRFIs to the
General Assembly
HCPF submitted new reports and LRFIs to the General Assembly since the last newsletter, all are on theLegislator Resource Center page:
Medicaid Snapshot and County-by-County Resources
These county fact sheets provide an annual snapshot by fiscal year for Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid Program) activityincluding average annual caseload and top five claim types for each county.   
Legislator Resource Center 
TheLegislator Resource Centeron our website is available to help legislators and legislative staff easily find information. It includes links to reports, fact sheets and overviews of the budget process to help inform legislators. 
Follow HCPF on Social Media
We invite legislators to follow us on social media to stay informed of news and happenings at the Department. You can follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.