Colorado’s Citizen Legislature – April 2013

Doris Beaver

Doris Beaver

Each year during the Governor’s state-of-the-state address, he emphasizes the need for greater efficiency, cutting waste and less red tape in Colorado government. The bills presented in this month’s column benefit Seniors and are admirable steps towards the Governor’s goals.

Senate Bill 13-058:  Under current law, persons with a permanent disability must apply every three years to the Colorado Department of Revenue for their license plates and placards. The every-three-year requirement to verify their disability would be waived if SB 058 becomes law, but the bill imposes a new requirement that a professional must certify the disability in writing, whether the disability is permanent or temporary. The elimination of sending notices for renewal every three years means a considerable decrease in paperwork.

Sponsors of Senate Bill 13-058:  Senator Kevin Grantham (R-Clear Creek, El Paso, Fremont, Park, Teller) 866-4877; and Representative Lois Landgraf (R-El Paso) 866-2946.

House Bill 13-1145:  County treasurers rather than county assessors will be authorized to notify taxpayers of the senior property tax exemptions (also known as senior homestead exemption) in a mailing or electronic distribution that coincides with the annual mailing of tax bills under the provisions of HB1145. Under current law, county assessors send out the notice of senior property tax exemptions to all residential addresses in a county.

Additionally, HB 1145 eliminates the discretion assessors have to reject late applications prior to the late filing deadline or to accept late applications after that date. The provisions of HB 1145 affect property tax years commencing January 1, 2013 and tax notifications commencing with January 1, 2014.

HB 1145 was passed unanimously by the Senate and referred to the Committee of the Whole with favorable recommendation and that it be placed on the consent calendar.

Sponsors of House Bill 13-1145:  Representative Lois Court (D-Denver) 866-2967. No sponsor as yet in the Senate.

House Bill 13-1202:  MOST (medical orders for a scope of treatment) is a “process whereby medical providers help persons to plan for and make end-of-life decisions.” Counseling for MOST by Medicaid providers is allowed but is not eligible for reimbursement. HB 1202 adds counseling for medical orders for scope of treatment to the list of services eligible for reimbursement annually Ð provided federal cost sharing is available.

MOST services are available in conjunction with other visits or can be provided free of charge by the physician. Typically, persons receiving such counseling are residing in long-term care facilities, receiving long-term care services, are likely within the last years of life or wish to avoid some or all medical interventions related to illness or advanced age.

The latest available data (2007) on average end-of-life costs for inpatient care in Colorado is $11,528.00 per person, which is expected to decrease under the provisions of HB 1202.

Sponsors of House Bill 13-1202:  Representatives Cheri Gerou (R-Jefferson) 866-2582, and Mark Ferrandino (D-Denver) 866-2346; and Senator John Kefalas (D-Larimer) 866-4841.

House Bill 13-1196: This bill was completely re-drafted below the enacting clause. The legislative declaration includes the creation of the “Accountable Care Collaborative” to provide care coordination for Colorado’s Medicaid program, with one of the primary goals to be reducing costs to the Medicaid program “through coordination between the primary care medical providers, the regional care collaborative organization and the statewide data and analytics contractor.”

Among the additional requirements in the amended bill is an annual report to the legislative committees of reference about:

  • technology-based efforts to identify and implement cost containment strategies and the outcome of those efforts, including cost savings, if known;
  • any statutes or policies that prevent regional care collaborative organizations from realizing efficiencies;
  • the efforts of regional care collaborative organizations to ensure Medicaid providers are aware of and participate in efforts to reduce waste; and
  • the counties served by each regional care collaborative organization.

Sponsors of House Bill 23-1196:  Representative Amy Stephens (R-El Paso) 866-2924. No sponsor as yet in the Senate.  Senate Bill 13-137 has very similar premise and legislative declaration as House Bill 13-1196. Typically, when similar legislation is introduced in each house, one bill will be withdrawn or postponed indefinitely.

Doris is a freelance journalist who writes from her home high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains on senior issues, politics, ethics and environmental issues. Visit her website

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