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Informing Policy. Advancing Health.

Catching Up With Fall

Are you a state legislator, a staffer, an elected county official or a member of Colorado’s health policy community? Mark December 14 and 15 on your calendar for our annual Hot Issues in Health Care conference at Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs.

CHI’s experts are preparing a thought-provoking agenda that will delve into the critical health policy issues facing Colorado. They will also examine the health-related measures that are likely to emerge in the legislative session.

And then there’s our amazing line-up of featured speakers — Colorado Lt. Governor Donna Lynne, Sarah Kliff of Vox.com and Patricia Gabow, former CEO of Denver Health.

Registration is now open. We’d love to have you join us.

The latest in the Healthy Kids Colorado dashboard series focuses on tobacco use among Colorado high schoolers. The analysis by Ian Pelto, our Public Interest Fellow from Colorado College, shows that smoking rates are down among teens, but many students are switching to electronic vapor smoking devices. The dashboards and accompanying analyses are based on the dataset provided by the 2015 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey taken by about 16,000 students. Our earlier dashboards explored bullying in Colorado’s high schools, student mental health and high school violence.

Another recent report — this one based on results of the 2015 Colorado Health Access Survey (CHAS) — explores why young adults in Colorado between the ages of 19 and 29 are more likely to be uninsured than any other age group.

Conventional wisdom suggests this demographic sees itself as invulnerable and therefore not in need of health insurance coverage — a notion that earned them the insurance industry nickname of “young invincibles.” But our report, “Mission Invincible: Addressing the True Reasons Young Adults Are Uninsured,” finds the explanation is not that simple. Senior Policy and Statistical Analyst Emily Johnson did the research and wrote the report.

Why are 350,000 Coloradans still uninsured? Our latest brief with data from the 2015 CHAS will be published this week. Affordability remains by far the most common reason, with more than four of five uninsured Coloradans citing cost as a barrier, but other reasons still come into play. As the fourth open enrollment period approaches, this analysis should help focus strategies on the issues that matter most.

Our President and CEO Michele Lueck and Policy Analyst Tamara Keeney were among those on hand for Attorney General Cynthia Coffman’s announcement last month that the state will provide law enforcement and other first responders with 2,500 drug overdose kits. The plan was announced after Tamara’s recent report on the rising number of opioid overdoses in both rural and urban areas of Colorado. 

Two CHIers will be out and about this week presenting at Building Better Health 2016: Roadmap to Health, an annual conference put on by the Colorado Health Foundation. Edmond Toy, Director, and Natalie Triedman, Policy Analyst, will be presenting the latest data on the remaining uninsured in Colorado’s who are eligible for public insurance but not enrolled.

Enjoy the changing leaves and don’t forget to sign up for Hot Issues in Health Care!