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Skiing, Star Wars . . . And Back to Work

The Colorado Health Institute staff enjoyed a break full of Star Wars, skiing, the beach, and some good old rest and relaxation. We’re happy to return to the office and get started on this New Year.

As we kick off 2016, we are excited to add a new member to the CHI staff. Ashlie Brown joins us as Director of SIM Extension Services. She most recently worked as the Massachusetts SIM Grant Director in Boston. Before that, she worked as a mechanical engineer. Ashlie has a master’s degree from Georgia Tech. We’re thrilled to have her with us.

The end of the year can be crazy, but we published a number of research papers that we don’t want you to miss, including:  

Higher Rate of Eligible Coloradans Are Getting Health Coverage: Policy Analyst Emily Johnson reports on the Colorado residents who are eligible for Medicaid or Child Health Plus (CHP+) but aren’t insured. The good news? Colorado is chipping away at this eligible but not enrolled (EBNE) population. However there is still work to do. The 2015 EBNE Report can be found on our website here along with data broken down by adults and children.

Uneven Progress: 2015 Health Insurance by ZIP Code in Colorado: Don’t miss the in-depth analysis and interactive map covering health insurance across Colorado at a hyperlocal level. The report written by Senior Data Analyst Becca Silvernale zooms in on five analysis areas. It shows that a couple of blocks makes a big difference for health insurance status. Read the report here.

Regulating Provider Networks: A Changing Landscape: This report, second in a series looking at the narrowing of provider networks in the wake of the Affordable Care Act, finds that the Colorado Division of Insurance is among the regulatory bodies across the nation considering whether to toughen rules and step up enforcement to address a trend toward narrower provider networks.  Mara Baer, founder and president of AgoHealth, a Denver-based health policy and strategic consulting company, is the lead author. Read the report here.

Meanwhile, the legislative session is upon us and CHI is gearing up for an action-packed season. For those of you who were unable to attend Hot Issues in Health Care last December or are looking for a comprehensive overview of upcoming health policy issues, join Legislative Director and Policy Analyst Allie Morgan and Senior Communications Expert Joe Hanel for a lunch-time webinar this Thursday.

The presentation will cover the starring role that health care will play in the 2016 budget, the Hospital Provider Fee and the Taxpayer’s bill of Rights, Connect for Health Colorado’s progress toward sustainability, and a heavy agenda of social issues. Sign up here to get up to speed before the 2016 legislative session begins.

Another CHI webinar is on tap next week, when Policy Analyst Emily Johnson will talk about her research into the number of Coloradans who remain uninsured despite being eligible for Medicaid or a tax credit to buy insurance through Connect for Health Colorado. It will be from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, January 13. Sign up here.

Finally, CHI is excited to explore the built environment in Colorado and its connection to health. A new series by Allie Morgan and Public Interest Fellow Maggie Bailey will explore walkability in our state and what that looks like at a local level with a spotlight on a rural town in Colorado. Future topics include food access, housing, transportation and financial incentives for improving the built environment. Look for the first two-pager later this week on CHI’s website.

We hope everyone has a good start to the New Year and we look forward to another exciting year in health policy.