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Hot Issues at CHI

September 9, 2014

Invitations to our 2014 Hot Issues in Health Care policy conference are going out this week. This year’s theme is “The Reality of Purple: Navigating Health Policy in Colorado.”

The big news is that we are opening our conference, traditionally reserved for lawmakers and legislative staffers, to the wider health policy community.

The conference is scheduled for Thursday, December 4, and Friday, December 5, at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs. The first day is for legislators, both those newly elected in November and veterans. Day Two is open to all who are interested in health and health care policy issues.

We’re excited about the 2014 lineup, including keynote speakers Susan Urahn, a national expert on government and health care policy who is an executive vice president for The Pew Charitable Trusts, and Stuart Butler, a leading conservative voice on health care policy who just moved to the Brookings Institution from The Heritage Foundation.

Check your in-box for your Hot Issues invite. Or register through our website.

Meantime, we hope you saw the brief by Research Analyst Natalie Triedman last week explaining the little-understood but all-important modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) standard for determining eligibility for public insurance programs.

In the words of Joe Hanel, senior communications expert, “It’s not magic, it’s MAGI. The federal government’s new modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) standard might seem like it was conjured out of thin air, but after reading our primer, you’ll be a certified MAGI magician.”

We also posted an interesting piece by Policy Analyst Allie Morgan about Colorado’s decision to extend parity in reimbursement rates for doctors who treat Medicaid and Medicare enrollees, one of six states to do so.  She tells us that before a temporary provision in the Affordable Care Act increased pay rates, Colorado doctors treating Medicaid patients were paid about 71 cents for every $1 they would have received for providing the same services to Medicare enrollees.

Our CEO, Michele Lueck, will be talking about trends in health and health care policy Wednesday evening at Denver Health’s annual medical staff dinner. We’ll post her presentation on our website Thursday.

It’s a busy week for Michele, who will also be a panelist Friday at Governing’s Colorado Leadership Forum at the Ritz Carlton Denver. She will join former Governor Richard Lamm, co-founder of the Institute for Public Policy Studies at the University of Denver, and Reggie Bicha, executive director of the Colorado Department of Human Services, on a panel titled “Building Robust Communities: Addressing Challenges in Health and Aging.” Elizabeth Daigneau, managing editor of Governing, will moderate the panel from 2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Finally, we’re kicking off CHAS season. Stakeholders are joining us for breakfast three days this week to discuss possible questions to add to the 2015 Colorado Health Access Survey (CHAS), the household survey funded by The Colorado Trust that serves as the state’s premier information source on coverage, access to care and use of care. The CHAS will help us to answer a great many questions about the effectiveness of health reform efforts, and we’re seeking input on the best way to do that. We expect to head into the field in mid-February following the close of the second open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act.