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Informing Policy. Advancing Health.

The CHI Weekly Legislative Update: January 27

The CHI Weekly Legislative Update: January 27

January 27, 2012

As the 2012 session of the Colorado Legislature gets underway, the Colorado Health Institute is closely tracking all things health policy over at the Capitol.

CHI will provide weekly updates focusing on health-related bills, important discussions about bills and the fate of bills. We will also track the budgets of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF), which manages the Medicaid and CHP+ programs, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Colorado Department of Human Services.

This post summarizes bills that CHI will track during the session.

A number of bills introduced since the session started on January 11 are intended to reduce the regulatory burden and simplify the administration of public and private health services.

Another focus is to reduce or modify the delivery of health care services provided in the Medicaid program.

Additional legislation and categories will be added in the next weeks as they are introduced. The deadline for bills to be introduced in the Senate is today (January 27). For the House, it is Wednesday (February 1).

Category: Reducing regulations and simplifying administration

HB 12-1015: Modifies the Department of Regulatory Agencies’ Sunrise Review Process

(Sponsors: Rep. Chris Holbert (R) and Sen. Tim Neville (R))

  • Modifies the sunrise review process for occupational and professional groups.

HB 12-1041: Electronic Death Registration System

(Sponsors: Rep. Jeanne Labuda (D) and Sen. Lucia Guzman (D))

  • Directs CDPHE to create an electronic death registration system to allow coroners and others responsible for reporting deaths to do so electronically. This bill would allow for better records and reporting of death data, similar to the state’s birth registry.

HB 12-1052: Health Care Work Force Data Collection

(Sponsors: Rep. Ken Summers (R), Sen. Ellen Roberts (R) and Sen. Betty Boyd (D))

  • Requires the director of DORA to implement a system to collect health care work force data from health care professionals who are eligible for the Colorado Health Service Corps, from practical and professional nurses, and from pharmacists. The health care workforce data will assist in planning for future state health care workforce needs.

HB 12-1054: Simplify Procurement for HCPF Health Care Providers

(Sponsor: Rep. Rhonda  Fields (D))

  • Reduces the number of different contracts and commitment vouchers required for multiple programs under the HCPF.

HB 12-1058: Health Department Infant Eye Prophylaxis

(Sponsors: Rep. Janek Joshi (R) and Sen. Jeanne Nicholson (D))

  • Deletes requirements that CDPHE specify, approve, and provide, free of charge, a prophylaxis to treat  the eyes of newborns. Instead, requires the health care provider to treat a newborn with a prophylaxis meeting current medical standard of care. The bill would reduce burden on CDPHE.

SB 12-037: Electronic Prescription Transfer for Controlled Substances

(Sponsors: Rep. Dave Young (D) and Sen. Steve King (R))

  • Allows for electronic transfer of prescriptions for controlled substances. Currently, a pharmacy is prohibited from dispensing a prescribed schedule II, III, IV, or V controlled substance without a written prescription from the practitioner.

SB 12-065: Prior Authorization Form Prescription Drugs

(Sponsor: Sen. John Morse (R))

  • Requires providers and plans to use a standard prior authorization form to submit and receive requests for prior coverage approval of a prescription drug. This provision reduces the confusion and time required to complete different forms.  If the health benefit plan fails to use or accept the prior authorization form or fails to respond to a request within two business days, the request is deemed granted. This last provision may decrease the amount of time to dispense a prescription but it may increase the costs if a more expensive medication is provided in the absence of a timely prescription.

Category: Reducing or modifying health care services provided in the Medicaid program

Two proposals would lower Medicaid expenditures by reducing eligibility.  In contrast, a proposal likely to be introduced next week allows HCPF to incorporate payment reform pilot programs in the Medicaid Accountable Care Collaborative program.  The bill sponsors anticipate that the pilot payment reform proposals will reduce costs and improve quality in the Medicaid program.

SB 12-023: Improve Eligible Persons Access to PACE Program

(Sponsor: Sen. Betty Boyd (D))

  • Requires  that organizations and staff who enroll elderly persons who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid services to provide information about PACE, a program of all-inclusive care for the elderly.  Would allow elderly persons currently enrolled in an accountable care organization or collaborative or any other managed care organization to terminate from that program and enroll in a PACE program, if one is available where they live.

SB 12-032: Medicaid Reform Federal Waiver

(Sponsor: Sen. Greg Brophy (R))

  • Requires HCPF to seek a federal waiver to allow the state more flexibility to modify Medicaid eligibility, such as adding an asset test for eligibility. Would allow the program to be funded like a block grant with a capped federal payment adjusted for population and inflation growth.

SB 12-060: Improve Medicaid Fraud Prosecution

(Sponsor: Sen. Ellen Roberts (R))

  • Requires HCPF to provide an annual report on client fraud and the Attorney General to report on provider fraud. Increases the amount counties can recover when fraud is reported and collected.

SB12-085: Reducing General Fund Expenditures

(Sponsor: Sen. Shawn  Mitchell (R))

  • Reduces eligibility and services in the Medicaid and Child Health Insurance (CHP+) program to levels in effect in 2006.  For example, the proposal would lower the income eligibility for children and pregnant women in CHP+ from 250% of the federal poverty level (FPL) to 205% of  the FPL and  lowers the income eligibility for parents from 100% of the FPL to 60% of the FPL.

SB12-090: Restore Medicaid Funding for Circumcision

(Sponsors: Rep. Lois  Court (D) and Sen. Joyce Foster (D))

  • Restores reimbursements to providers for male circumcision in the Medicaid program.

Other bills

SB12-053: Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Repeal

(Sponsors: Rep. Marsha Looper (R) and Sen. Tim Neville (R))

  • Repeals SB 11-200, the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Act, in the event that the federal Affordable Care Act is repealed or the United States Supreme Court rules that all or any part of the federal act is unconstitutional.

SB 12-068: No Trans Fats In Public School Foods

(Sponsors: Rep. Tom Massey (R) and Sen. Lucia Guzman (D) )

  • Prohibits schools from providing or selling  foods that contain industrially produced trans fats, including in school stores and vending machines.