2019 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.

2019 Legislative and Issue Analyses
Bill or Issue What it concerns HD Board Action Date Considered
HB19-1010: Freestanding Emergency Department Licensure
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The bill creates a new licensure type for freestanding emergency departments, facilities that offer emergency care but are not on a hospital campus. CDPHE has the ability to waive the licensure requirements for a facility that serves or seeks to serve an underserved population within the state. The Board voted to Support HB19-1010. January 22, 2019
HB19-1038: Dental Services for Pregnant Women on Children's Basic Health Plan Plus
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The bill creates a dental benefit for pregnant women that are enrolled in CHP+. The Board voted to Strongly Support HB19-1038. January 22, 2019
SB19-008: Substance Use Disorder Treatment in Criminal Justice System
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The bill addresses a variety of issues surrounding substance use disorders and the criminal justice system. This includes requiring medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to be allowed in jails that receive jail-based behavioral health services (JBBS) program funding and requiring the Colorado Department of Corrections to allow incarcerated individuals that have transferred from a jail where they were receiving MAT to continue receiving that treatment. The Board voted to Strongly Support SB19-008. January 22, 2019
SB19-010: Professional Behavioral Health Services for Schools
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The bill expands the current School Health Professional Grant Program to allow funding for behavioral health therapy services through the school whether that be through hiring staff, contracting with community partners, or utilizing telehealth services. The bill also provides an additional $3 million in funding for the program. The Board voted to Strongly Support SB19-010. January 22, 2019
HB19-1004: Proposal for Affordable Health Coverage Option
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The bill requires the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, Division of Insurance, and Department of Regulatory Agencies to develop and submit a proposal to the General Assembly in regards to the design, costs, benefits, and implementation of a state option for health insurance coverage. The proposal must have a detailed analysis of the state option and identify the most effective implementation based on affordability, burden to the state, ease of implementation, and likelihood of meeting outlined objectives. The Board voted to Strongly Support HB19-1004. February 12, 2019
HB19-1033: Local Governments May Regulate Nicotine Products
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The bill authorizes a county, city, or town to enact a resolution or ordinance that prohibits a minor from possessing or purchasing cigarettes, tobacco products, or nicotine products. These local governments are no longer financially penalized for imposing or attempting to impose a tax on cigarettes. The bill authorizes a city, town, or county, if approved by a vote of the people, to impose a special sales tax on the sale of cigarettes, tobacco products, or nicotine products. The bill takes effect July 1, 2019. The Board voted to Strongly Support HB19-1033. February 12, 2019
HB19-1076: Clean Indoor Air Act Add E-Cigarettes Remove Exceptions
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The bill amends the “Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act” to include of electronic smoking devices (ESDs) into the prohibitions. Additionally, the bill amends the smoke-free radius around the entryway of locations subject to the act from 15 feet to 25 feet. The bill also removes certain current exceptions to the Clean Indoor Air Act. The Board voted to Support HB19-1076. February 12, 2019
SB19-005: Import Prescription Drugs from Canada
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This bill directs the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) to design a program to import prescription drugs from Canada to be sold to Colorado residents. The program must ensure the safety of the products and cost savings for consumers. The federal government must approve the program for implementation to occur. If approved, HCPF must create and adopt a funding mechanism to cover the program’s administrative costs. The Board voted to Strongly Support SB19-005. February 12, 2019
SB19-012: Use of Mobile Electronic Devices while Driving
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This bill proposes to expand that ban to encompass all drivers regardless of age and all electronic devices. As currently amended, the bill includes fines and points on a driver’s license as punishment for using a mobile electronic device. This bill would also create an exemption for electronic devices that have a hands-free device engaged. The Board voted to Strongly Support SB19-012 but urged lawmakers to consider amendments to clarify language to allow listening to GPS devices and applications while operating a vehicle. February 26, 2019
HB19-1044: Advance Behavioral Health Orders
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This bill creates a behavioral health order for scope of treatment, similar to the established advance medical orders for scope of treatment, so an adult can communicate their behavioral health history, decisions, and preferences. The Board voted to support HB19-1044, but urged lawmakers to consider amendments. (Read more at link)

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February 26, 2019
HB19-1160: Mental Health Facility Pilot Program
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This bill creates a three-year pilot program to provide residential care, treatment, and services to individuals that have both physical and mental health conditions. The Board voted to support the concept of the bill, but urged lawmakers to consider amendments. (Read more at link)

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February 26, 2019
HB19-1169: Mental Health Involuntary Transportation Holds
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This bill adds language that clarifies that the authority of the specified professionals to hold an individual remains in effect until the evaluation at the receiving facility is complete and a determination has been made concerning the continued evaluation and treatment of the individual. The Board voted to Strongly Support HB19-1169 but urged lawmakers to consider an amendment to add language about requiring the receiving facility to conduct an evaluation within a reasonable amount of time. February 26, 2019
Zero Suicide Funding
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This proposal would dedicate an additional $861,000 to the Office of Suicide Prevention (OSP) to implement grants for additional sites to implement Zero Suicide across the state. The additional funding will help OSP adapt the framework to other systems such as criminal justice, the faith community, schools, and higher education institutions. In addition to training community mental health centers statewide, the funding would allow OSP to expand to hospitals and primary care settings. The Board voted to Support the dedication of state funds to expand the Zero Suicide framework. February 26, 2019
HB19-1174: Out-of-Network Health Care Services
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The bill requires health insurance carriers, health providers, and facilities to provide patients covered by health insurance plans with information concerning the provision of services by out-of-network providers in the cases where a person gets emergency care at an out-of-network facility or they receive either emergency or covered nonemergency care from an out-of-network provider at an in-network facility. In these situations, the bill mandates that the carrier shall reimburse the out-of-network provider or facility the greater of outlined reimbursement rates. The Board voted to Support HB19-1174. February 26, 2019
SB19-134: Out-of-Network Health Care Disclosures and Charges
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The bill addresses the provision of services by out-of-network providers in the cases where a person gets emergency care at an out-of-network facility or they receive either emergency or covered nonemergency care from an out-of-network provider at an in-network facility. The bill outlines the process for reimbursement in these situations. The Board voted to take a neutral position on SB19-134. February 26, 2019
SB19-073: Statewide System of Advance Medical Directives
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This bill has the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) create a statewide electronic system to be administered by a health information network to act as a repository for qualified providers and individuals to access and store advance directives. The Board voted to Strongly Support SB19-073 but urged lawmakers to consider amendment. (Read more at link)

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February 26, 2019
SB19-139: More Colorado Road And Community Safety Act Offices
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The bill increases the number of offices that provide licenses and identification cards to eligible undocumented immigrants. 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 voted to Support SB19-139. March 12, 2019
HB19-1131: Prescription Drug Cost Education
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The bill requires if prescription drug manufacturers and their representatives are providing information to providers, they must also provide them with the wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) of that drug as well as the WAC of three generics within the same therapeutic class. No position was taken on this bill, HB19-1131. March 12, 2019
HB19-1120: Youth Mental Health Education And Suicide Prevention
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The bill lowers the mental health consent age for outpatient care from 15 to 12. The bill also creates a resource bank for suicide prevention and youth mental health materials. No position was taken on this bill, HB19-1120. March 12, 2019
HB19-1009: Substance Use Disorder Recovery
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This bill expands an existing housing voucher program within the Department of Local Affairs to include individuals with a substance use disorder and those in certain circumstances. Operating recovery residences would be required to be accredited by Colorado Association of Recovery Residences, with certain exceptions. The bill also creates the “opioid crisis recovery funds advisory committee” in order to advise and collaborate on the uses of any funds received from opioid-related litigation. The Board voted to Support HB19-1009. March 12, 2019
HB19-1176: Health Care Cost Savings Act of 2019
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The bill establishes the health care cost analysis task force in order to analyze the current Colorado health care financing system, a multi-payer universal health care system, and a publicly funded and privately delivered universal health care system. The Board voted to Support HB19-1176. March 28, 2019
HB19-1216: Reduce Insulin Prices
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The bill establishes an out-of-pocket maximum for cost sharing at $100 per 30-day supply of insulin. The Department of Law is tasked with investigating the price of insulin that is made available to Colorado consumers in order to ensure adequate consumer protections in the pricing of insulin and whether further protections are needed. The Board voted to Strongly Support HB19-1216. March 28, 2019
HB19-1233: Investments in Primary Care to Reduce Health Costs
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The bill creates a primary care payment reform collaborative in the Division of Insurance. The Commissioner of Insurance is required to set affordability standards for premiums, including adding targets for insurance carrier investment in primary care. Also, the bill requires the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing and insurance carriers who offer health plans to state employees to set targets for investment into primary care. The Board voted to Support HB19-1233. March 28, 2019
HB19-1239: Census Outreach Grant Program
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The bill creates a census outreach grant program to provide financial assistance to entities to support accurate counting of the residents of Colorado in the 2020 Census. The Board voted to Strongly Support HB19-1239. April 9, 2019
HB19-1203: School Nurse Grant Program
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The school nurse grant program is created within the Colorado Department of Education. The program is to award grants on a 5-year cycle to local education providers in order to increase the number of school nurses in the state. The Board voted to Strongly Support HB19-1203. April 9, 2019
HB19-1269: Mental Health Parity Insurance Medicaid
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The bill requires insurance coverage to comply with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) and that coverage for behavioral health disorders include coverage for the prevention, screening, and treatment of those disorders. The bill requires the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) to ensure that the Medicaid program complies with MHPAEA. The Board voted to Strongly Support HB19-1269. April 9, 2019
SB19-222: Individuals At-Risk of Institutionalization
The bill requires HCPF to work collaboratively to create incentives for behavioral health providers to accept Medicaid recipients with severe behavioral health disorders. Further, HCPF is required to determine the appropriate and necessary response to ensure inpatient services are available to individuals with a serious mental illness. The bill directs state departments to work alongside members of law enforcement, counties and community advocates to create a behavioral health safety net system, to be implemented by 2024. The Board voted to Support SB19-222. April 9, 2019
HB19-1287: Treatment for Opioids and Substance Use Disorders
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The bill creates a capacity tracking system for providers and facilities to input program slot and facility bed availability in order for families, law enforcement, counties, court personnel, and emergency room professionals to locate available substance use disorder treatment. A statewide care navigation is established to assist individuals in accessing SUD treatment. The bill creates a grant program to award up to $5 million annually in grants to increase capacity and services in rural and frontier communities. The Board took positions on aspects of the bill. (Read more at link)

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April 9, 2019
HB19-1237: Licensing Behavioral Health Entities
The bill combines the various current licenses for entities that provide behavioral health services into a single license of a behavioral health entity (BHE). The bill requires a BHE that was previously licensed by CDPHE to obtain a BHE license by July 1, 2022. It requires a BHE that was previously licensed or approved by DHS to obtain a BHE license by July 1, 2024. To work on the transition to a single BHE license an implementation and advisory committee is established. The Board voted to Support HB19-1237, but urged legislators to consider amendments. (Read more at link)

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April 9, 2019
SB19-195: Child and Youth Behavioral Health System Enhancements
The bill requires HCPF to seek federal approval to provide wraparound services for eligible children and youth. A standardized assessment is to be selected for the identification of behavioral health issues and another for screening by primary care providers. State departments are to develop a plan for establishing a single statewide referral and entry point for children and youth who have a hospital screening or needs were identified through the standardized assessment. A pilot program is to be recommended to integrate funding for behavioral health intervention and treatment for children. The Board voted to take a neutral position, but had concerns about concepts in the bill. (Read more at link)

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April 9, 2019
SB19-227: Harm Reduction Substance Use Disorders
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The bill creates the Opiate Antagonist Bulk Purchase Fund to facilitate bulk purchasing of opiate antagonists at a discounted price. The bill expands the household medication take-back program in the CDPHE for the purpose of allowing the safe collection and disposal of needles, syringes, and other devices used to inject medication. The bill allows schools to develop policies related to supplying and administering opiate antagonists to individuals at risk of experiencing a drug overdose. The bill allows hospitals to operate syringe exchange programs. The Board voted to Support most of SB19-227, but urged legislators to consider amendments. (Read more at link)

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April 23, 2019
SB19-228: Substance Use Disorders Prevention Measures
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The bill creates the Youth Opioid and Substance Use Prevention Grant Program and the Maternal and Child Health Pilot Program. The bill appropriates funding to the Department of Public Health and Environment to pursue measures at the state and local level to address substance use disorder (SUD) priorities. The Center for Research into Substance Use Disorder Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Support Strategies is to implement a public awareness program and hire staff to provide grant assistance to local communities. The bill has measures related to provider continuing education. No position was taken on this bill, SB19-228. April 23, 2019
HB19-1312: School Immunization Requirements
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The bill requires the Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to develop a standardized form and submission process for individuals to claim a medical, religious, or personal belief exemption to an immunization. In order to claim a personal or religious belief exemption for their child, this bill would require parents to submit the standardized form to CDPHE or the appropriate local public health agency. The Board voted to Support HB19-1312. April 23, 2019
HB19-1296: Prescription Drug Cost Reduction Measures
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The bill requires reporting on prescription drugs by manufacturers, insurers, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), and certain nonprofit organizations. the DOI is to conduct an analysis utilizing the reported information. PBMs are prohibited from retroactively reducing the payment provided on a clean claim submitted by a pharmacy. Health insurers are required to reduce the cost sharing a covered person is required to pay for prescription drugs by an amount related to the average aggregate rebates received by the insurer. No position was taken on this bill, HB19-1296. April 23, 2019