Colorado’s Citizen Legislature – April 2016
~ By Doris Beaver ~
Far too many of us ordinary citizens arrive at the point in our lives that means we are labeled as “Seniors” way sooner than we would like, and woefully unprepared for all that term means. Lack of preparation dramatically impacts how a Senior deals with reaching such a milestone.
Think how different Seniors’ lives would be if more emphasis by those all-knowing experts was focused on disrupting aging and healthy aging rather than anti-aging or just plain old accepting it!
House Bill 16-1195: Under current law, home modifications services are only available for persons with physical impairments. That restriction will be removed and replaced with “home modifications services” defined to include “home installations or adaptions, related to any disability that allows an eligible person to remain in the home,” all subject to federal authorization. Also significant, HB 1195 was amended in committee hearing to include persons with major mental illnesses to the eligible person category.
The goal of keeping eligible clients in their homes and out of nursing facilities or specialized nursing facilities under the Elderly, Blind and Disabled Waiver Program and the Persons with Brain Injury Waiver Program is one of 11 home- and community-based services (HCBS) programs in Colorado, and is meant to expand access to home modification services for Medicaid clients in Colorado.
Sponsors of House Bill 16-1195: Representative Lois Landgraf (R-El Paso) 866-1195 and Dave Young (D-Weld) 866-2929; and Senators Larry Crowder (R-Alamosa, Baca, Bent, Conejos, Crowley, Custer, Huerfano, Kiowa, Las Animas, Mineral, Otero, Prowers, Pueblo, Rio Grande, Saguache) 866-4875, and Pat Steadman (D-Arapahoe, Denver) 866-4861.
Senate Bill 16-120: Current quality control processes by the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing are being implemented and primarily target high-cost procedures with greater potential for fraud or improper billing.
SB 120 includes a provision for providing an explanation of benefits being sent to Medicaid clients receiving those high-cost procedures, including the name of the client receiving services, the name of the service provider, a description of the service provided, the billing code for the service and the date of the service. While this procedure will not be without cost, the legislative declaration states in part, “. . . only the client receiving medical services or his or her authorized representative is in the position to verify whether the claimed medical services were actually provided. . .”
SB 120 was passed by the Committee on Health and Human Services and referred to the Committee on Appropriations with favorable recommendation.
Sponsors of Senate Bill 16-120: Senator Ellen S. Roberts (R-Archuleta, Dolores, LaPlata, Montezuma, Montrose, Ouray, San Juan, San Miguel) 866-4884; and Representative Don Coram (R-Dolores, Montezuma, Montrose, San Miguel) 866-2955
Senate Bill 16-093: The legislative declaration of SB 093 states the purpose of the bill is recognition that omissions in the delivery of independent living services to individuals with disabilities and the desire to remedy such inadequacies in the delivery system through services at the community level.
To remedy the omissions, SB 093 transfers the rights, powers and duties related to oversight of independent living services for persons with disabilities from the Department of Human Services to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE). Created within the CDLE is the Office of Independent Living Services to oversee contracts with independent living centers which provide services that allow individuals with disabilities to live independently.
SB 093 was passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 56 to 9, and 35-0 in the Senate. Governor Hickenlooper signed SB 093 on March 23rd.
Lead Sponsors of Senate Bill 16-093: Senator Kent D Lambert (R-El Paso) 866-4835; and Representative Dave Young (D-Weld) 866-2929.
Doris Beaver is a free lance journalist who writes from her home high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains on senior issues, politics, ethics and environmental issues. Visit her website www.dorisbeaver.com, or e-mail her at email@example.com.