Sure, the legislature adjourned for the year in May, but is legislative work ever truly finished? Not at CHI.
CHI’s annual Legislation in Review (LIR) will be published this week. The report is Colorado’s go-to source for making sense of the health policy trends and legislative actions in the 2015 session. We also forecast the hot topics we anticipate will be back in 2016. Look for the 2015 LIR on Wednesday.
Jeff Bontrager, director of research on coverage and access, testified last Friday to the Colorado Health Insurance Exchange Oversight Committee about options for Connect for Health Colorado. Jeff talked about the Affordable Care Act’s innovation waivers, which could help Colorado custom-tailor a system to either improve the exchange’s sustainability or make wholesale changes to Connect for Health Colorado. Legislators were intrigued and invited CHI back to the committee’s next meeting in July.
CEO Michele Lueck and Research Analyst Tamara Keeney are busy today with another legislatively created body, the Colorado Commission on Affordable Health Care. The legislature established the commission last year, giving it a three-year mission of examining ways to make health care more affordable. CHI is providing data and analysis for the commission, which meets the second Monday of every month. Senior Communications Expert Joe Hanel also will attend and summarize the meeting in the 11th issue of Policy Examiner, which will be published late this week.
It’s not all legislative work at CHI, though. Policy Analyst Jessica Fern will spend Wednesday through Friday at the annual convention of the National Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers here in Denver. Jessica will be looking for ideas relevant to Colorado’s health care workforce challenges.
Finally, it’s getting crowded around the CHI office. Today we welcomed two new colleagues for the summer, Julia Newman and Musfer Aldossri. Julia just finished her first year at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and she will spend the summer working on safety net projects, as well as laying the groundwork for a research project she will pursue through medical school. Musfer, a practicing dentist in Saudi Arabia, is studying at the Colorado School of Public Health. He will be working with Sara Schmitt, director of community health policy, to assess the effects on patients and dentists of the adult dental benefit that Colorado’s Medicaid program added last year.