2018 Legislative and Issue Analyses

To view the analyses, click on "More Info" below the bill number or issue. All documents are in PDF format and require Adobe Acrobat for viewing.

Analyses are based on bills or issues at the time of their consideration by the Board of  Directors. Bills may change during the course of a legislative session. For the current status of these and other bills introduced in the Colorado legislature, visit the website for the Colorado General Assembly.

Occasionally the Board of Directors also will take a position on a ballot measure. In compliance with state election law, no analyses are prepared on ballot measures that are not of official concern to the Health District.

Questions about analyses? Contact the Health District at (970) 224-5209.

2018 Legislative and Issue Analyses
Bill or Issue What it concerns HD Board Action Date Considered
All-Payer Claims Database (APCD) Funding; HB18-1327
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The APCD was formed in 2010 with the passage of HB10-1330. The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing requested $2.8 million in total state funds for FY2018-2109 to support APCD operations and backfill the private grants that are expiring. Data from the APCD gives the health community and policymakers insights about health care costs, quality, utilization, and other data. Through this increased data transparency, the information informs the public about spending and ways to improve care. The Board of Directors voted to support the funding of the All-Payer Claims Database, whether that occurs through the budgetary or legislative process. January 23, 2018
Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) Funding
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As in previous years, the 2018-2019 budget request includes $2.5 million for family planning, including LARC. The LARC program continues to greatly expand the use of this method, which has been demonstrated to significantly decrease the rates of fertility and abortions among young women throughout the state. The Board of Directors voted to support the funding of LARC in 2018-2019 budgetary process. January 23, 2018
SB18-108: iDrive Campaign
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A statewide coalition called the iDrive Colorado Campaign has formed to support the attempt to restore access to licenses for all undocumented Coloradans. There are significant public health and safety benefits of providing Colorado’s undocumented immigrants with a form of identification and the ability to drive legally. The Board of Directors voted to support the iDrive Campaign and support the associated forthcoming legislation, if consistent with the intent of the white paper. January 23, 2018
SB18-146: Freestanding Emergency Department Consumer Notices
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This bill requires a freestanding emergency department (FSED) to provide a person seeking treatment with a written statement of the patient’s rights, a sign that emphasizes that the FSED is not an urgent care center or primary care provider, and a disclosure after screening that delineates facility fees, chargemaster prices on common services, and the insurances that the hospital takes. The Board of Directors voted to strongly support the bill, SB18-146. February 13, 2018
SB18-132: 1332 Federal Waiver Catastrophic Plans
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This bill requires the Commissioner of Insurance to apply for a Section 1332 waiver, also known as a state innovation waiver, from the Federal government by January 1, 2019. This waiver would expand the populations that are allowed to enroll in catastrophic plans from just those meeting the age or hardship requirement to any Colorado resident. The bill was amended on 2/15/18 with Amendment L001. After consideration of the amendment to this bill, the Board of Directors voted to change the strength of their position and now oppose the bill rather than strongly oppose. February 13, 2018 and February 27, 2018
HB18-1003: Opioid Misuse Prevention
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The bill extends the Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders Interim Study Committee to July 2020. Activities related to substance use disorders are added to school-based health center grant criteria and funds are appropriated. A competitive grant program for SBIRT is created. Furthermore, continuing education activities for prescribers regarding pain management, prescribing practices, medication-assisted treatment and other relevant topics. Education and training programs are to be developed for law-enforcement, first responders, and those at-risk for overdose about using opioid antagonists The Board of Directors voted to support the bill, HB18-1003. February 13, 2018
HB18-1136: Section 1115 Medicaid Residential & Inpatient Treatment Waiver
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The bill adds residential and inpatient substance use disorder treatment as an optional service for Colorado's Medicaid program. For this addition to occur, a Section 1115 waiver must be sought from the Federal government to be able to receive federal matching funds. The Board of Directors voted to strongly support the bill, HB18-1136. February 13, 2018
SB18-040: Substance Use Disorder Harm Reduction
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This bill allows for the expansion of harm reduction methods such as syringe access programs into hospitals. Additionally, this bill allows schools to develop policies regarding naloxone as long as training for school staff is a component of the policy. A study is to be conducted by the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice to study penalties related to opioids including their efficacy and impact on those seeking treatment. Finally, a pilot program for a supervised injection facility in the City and County of Denver. The Board of Directors voted to support components of this bill. (Read more at link.)

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February 13, 2018
Senior Dental Program Funding
The Senior Dental Program is for lower income seniors who do not have any dental coverage. The request is to increase the line item that funds the program, Old Age Pension State Medical General Funds, in the FY18-19 Department of Health Care Policy and Financing budget from $2,962,510 to $3,962,510. The Board of Directors voted to support the request to increase the funding to the Senior Dental Program. February 27, 2018
HB18-1177: Youth Suicide Prevention
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This bill requires the Office of Suicide Prevention, within the Department of Public Health and Environment, to create opportunities for youth suicide prevention training programs, and coordinate a statewide awareness campaign regarding youth suicide. The bill mandates a decrease in the age of consent for outpatient psychotherapy services without permission from an adult or legal guardian from 15 years of age to 12 years of age. The Board of Directors voted to support the creation of training programs and a state awareness campaign, but wished to remain neutral on the decrease of the mental health age of consent. February 27, 2018
HB18-1182: Statewide System for Advance Directives
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This bill has the Department of Public Health and Environment create a statewide electronic system to be administered by a health information network and funded by gifts, grants, and donations to act as a repository for medical professionals and individuals to access and store advance directives. The Board of Directors voted to support the bill, HB18-1182. February 27, 2018
HB18-1212: Freestanding Emergency Departments Licensure
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This bill creates a new type of license, “freestanding emergency department license,” which will be issued by the Department of Public Health and Environment. Facilities that are licensed under this new category would be limited in the amount of facility fees they are allowed to charge patients. The Board of Directors voted to support the bill, HB18-1212. February 27, 2018
HB18-1260: Prescription Drug Transparency
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This bill enacts new reporting requirements on both health insurers and prescription drug manufacturers. Health insurers must provide the Division of Insurance with information regarding the prescription drugs that were covered by the insurer. The manufacturers must notify purchasers regarding increases in the wholesale acquisition cost of prescription drugs and new specialty drugs coming to the commercial market. The DOI is to analyze the data received from both the insurers and manufacturers to determine the effect of prescription drug costs on premiums. The Board of Directors voted on 2/13/18 to support the concept, which was drafted into bill HB18-1260, introduced on 2/26/18. February 13, 2018
HB18-1007: Substance Use Disorder Payment and Coverage
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This bill does a variety of things to change or mandate the payment and coverage of medication-assisted treatment, naloxone, and pain management services. The Board of Directors voted to support the bill, HB18-1007. March 13, 2018
HB18-1097: Patient Choice of Pharmacy
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The bill prohibits health insurance carriers and pharmacy benefits managers from imposing certain restrictions on patients, pharmacists, and pharmacies. The carriers/PBMs cannot place restrictions on which pharmacy or pharmacist covered individuals use to access their benefits and cannot deny pharmacies from being a part of a carrier's network. No position was taken on this bill, HB18-1097. March 13, 2018
SB18-022: Clinical Practice for Opioid Prescribing
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This bill imposes a limit on the amount of opioids prescribed to and refills allowed for a patient for the first time in a 12-month period. Certain exceptions to this limit are specified. The bill mandates that the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program be queried before the refill of the opioid is given. The Board of Directors voted to support the bill, SB18-022. March 13, 2018
SB18-136:Health Insurance Producer Fees and Fee Disclosures
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The bill allows an insurance producer or broker advising a client on individual health benefit plans to charge the client a fee if they do not receive a commission related to the plan selected and if they disclose the fee to the client. No position was taken on this bill, SB18-136. March 13, 2018
SB18-168: Medication-Assisted Treatment through Pharmacies
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This bill clarifies that Medicaid must include extended-release opioid antagonists as a covered benefit for use in medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorder. It requires that any qualified pharmacist that administers injectable MAT must receive an enhanced dispensing fee from the program. The Board of Directors voted to support the bill, SB18-168. March 13, 2018
HB18-1279: Electronic Prescribing Controlled Substances
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This bill would require podiatrists, dentists, physicians, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses, and optometrists to prescribe controlled substances only through electronic prescribing. Providers must comply with the requirement by July 1, 2020 unless they serve in a rural community or have a solo practice. These prescribers are required to report their compliance through the license renewal process. The Board of Directors voted to support the bill, HB18-1279. March 27, 2018
HB18-1284: Disclosure of Prescription Costs at Pharmacies
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This bill prohibits insurance carriers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) from prohibiting a pharmacy or pharmacist from providing a covered individual with information regarding the amount they will have to pay or the clinical efficacy of affordable alternative drugs. The bill also prohibits carriers and PBMs from requiring the pharmacy to charge a copayment that exceeds the total charges that are submitted by the pharmacy. The Board of Directors voted to support the bill, HB18-1284. March 27, 2018
SB18-214: Request Self-Sufficiency Waiver Medicaid Program
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This bill directs the CO Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to develop and submit an application for a Section 1115 Medicaid waiver to implement new provisions as a part of Colorado’s Medicaid program. The waiver must include the requirement for able-bodied adults, with stipulated exceptions, to work, seek work, attend job training, or volunteer for Medicaid eligibility. Able-bodied adults must verify their income on a monthly basis for eligibility. A lifetime limit of five years on Medicaid benefits is enacted, with certain exceptions. The Board of Directors voted to strongly oppose the bill, SB18-214. March 27, 2018
HB18-1311: Single Geographic Rating Area Individual Health Plan
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This bill would prohibit a health insurance carrier from considering the geographic location of the policyholder when establishing premium rates for individual health plans, which creates a single geographic rating area consisting of the entire state. The Board of Directors voted to oppose the bill, HB18-1311. April 10, 2018
HB18-1313: Pharmacists to Serve as Practitioners
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This bill clarifies that pharmacists may serve as practitioners and prescribe over-the-counter medications under Medicaid and prescribe a statewide drug therapy protocol (protocols currently in place are for contraception and tobacco cessation medications) under a collaborative pharmacy practice agreement. The Board of Directors voted to support the bill, HB18-1313. April 10, 2018
HB18-1357: Behavioral Health Care Ombudsperson Parity Reports
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This bill would establish an office of the ombudsperson for behavioral health access to assist Coloradans in accessing behavioral health care. The bill also requires the Commissioner of Insurance to report on mental health parity requirements. The Board of Directors voted to support the bill, HB18-1357. May 1, 2018
HB18-1384: Study Health Care Coverage Options
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This bill requires the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing and the Division of Insurance to study the costs, benefits, and feasibility of implementing a Medicaid buy-in option, a public-private partnership option, or a regionally based option for health care coverage. The Board of Directors voted to support the bill, HB18-1384. May 1, 2018
HB18-1392: State Innovation Waiver Reinsurance Program
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This bill directs the Division of Insurance to prepare and submit an application to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for a waiver or federal funding (or both) to allow Colorado to create and operate a reinsurance program. The reinsurance program would assist health insurers in paying high-cost insurance claims in the individual marketplace. The Board of Directors voted to support the bill, HB18-1392. May 1, 2018
HB18-1416: Student Suicide Prevention Grant Program
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The bill creates a grant program to provide funds to schools and school districts to develop and implement student suicide prevention policies and training programs. These policies must include training for staff/teachers, training for students, and education for parents. The Board of Directors voted to support the bill, HB18-1416. May 1, 2018
SB18-270: Behavioral Health Crisis Transition Referral Program
The bill establishes the community transition specialist program, which coordinates referrals of high-risk individuals to transition specialists by health and behavioral health facilities. High-risk individuals are under an emergency hold, have a mental health or substance use disorder, and are not in treatment. Transition specialists are to provide services related to housing, residential treatment placement, client advocacy, and other supportive services. The Board of Directors voted to support the bill, SB18-270. May 1, 2018
2018 Farm Bill (House Version)
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The bill reauthorizes and substantially amends the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other nutrition programs until 2023. Another inclusion within the House version of the bill is financial assistance for agriculture health plans. The Board of Directors voted to strongly oppose H.R. 2, the House version of the 2018 Farm Bill. May 22, 2018