Colorado’s Citizen Legislature – June 2013
Today’s edition is a review of the legislation written about in Colorado’s Citizen Legislature for the 2013 General Assembly.
House Bill 13-1068: The introduced bill underwent significant amendment by the Committee on Public Health and Human Services.
The Affordable Care Act includes requirements for screening all new Medicaid providers and all existing providers by March 2016, resulting in a designation as limited, moderate or high risk.
Amended HB 1068 was signed by Governor Hickenlooper on April 8th. Provisions of the amended bill include:
- aligns state law concerning the inspection of Medicaid providers with federal law which requires Medicaid providers allow the state to conduct on-site inspections unannounced and without advance notice (ten days advance notice was required under current law); and
- aligns state law with federal law concerning pre- and post-enrollment site visits of providers who are designated as moderate or highs risks to the Medicaid program.
Elimination of the advance notice requirement is predicted to greatly increase the efficiency of inspections.
House Bill 13-1145: Under current law, county assessors were responsible for sending out the notice of senior property tax exemptions to all residential addresses in a county.
Signed by the Governor on April 4th, HB 1145 tasks the county treasurer with that responsibility in a mailing or electronic distribution that coincides with the annual mailing of tax bills. “Allowing senior homestead exemption notices to be sent with tax bills generally codifies current practice.”
HB 1145 also means county assessors will no longer have the discretion to reject late applications prior to the late filing deadline or to accept late applications after that date. County assessors will still receive and review applications for the senior exemption. Note: HB 1145 affects property tax years commencing on January 1, 2013, and tax notifications commencing with January 1, 2014.
House Bill 13-1196: Signed into law by the Governor on May 11th, HB 1196 was completely redrafted by the Public Health Care and Human Services Committee.
HB 1196 creates the “Accountable Care Collaborative” (ACC), with its primary goal of reducing costs to the Medicaid program through coordination between the primary care medical providers, the Regional Care Collaborative Organizations and the statewide data and analytics contractor.
The ACC is also tasked with “evaluating the payment system for the Medicaid program to improve client health outcomes through more effective payment systems,” and eliminating waste. An annual report is to be made to legislative committees of reference by the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing detailing efforts to reduce waste and duplication of efforts within the Affordable Care Collaborative of Medicaid.
House Bill 13-1202: End-of-life decisions are the most gut-wrenching situations a person can ever face. HB 1202 was signed by Governor Hickenlooper on April 8th, and “adds counseling for medical orders for scope of treatment (MOST) by Medicaid providers to the list of services that are eligible for reimbursement, provided federal cost sharing is available.” HB 1202 modifies current law which allows for MOST by Medicaid providers, but the services were not eligible for reimbursement.
Senate bill 13-058: Signed by the Governor on April 19th, SB 058 was amended by the Committee on Transportation and retains the requirement that verification requirements for an identifying license plate and placard must be met every three years. Whether a disability is temporary or permanent must be verified by a professional, and a form with photographic identification must be submitted to the County Clerk’s office at least every third time verification is required.
Senate Bill 13-111: “Concerning Abuse of At-Risk Adults,” SB 111 was signed by the Governor on May 16th, and moves Colorado out of the “one of three states in the United States” category that did not require certain professionals to report abuse or exploitation of at-risk adults.
Effective July 1, 2014, mandatory reporters as set forth in Colorado Revised Statute 18-6.5-108 “are required to report known or suspected abuse of at-risk elders, and to make the report within 24 hours.” SB 111 adds to the list of mandatory reporters already in statute emergency medical providers, physical therapists, clergy members and chiropractors.
Especially significant is that SB 111 creates a new class of protection for “at-risk elders” defined as any person age 70 or older.
SB 111 builds upon Colorado’s Adult Protection Services system enacted in 1991, meant to “protect vulnerable or at-risk adults who, because of age or mental or physical ability, are unable to obtain services or otherwise protect their own health, safety and welfare.”
Section 26-3.1-103 of the Colorado Revised Statutes mandates county departments of social services to investigate all reports of abuse, exploitation or neglect of at-risk adults which are increasing by an average of 2 percent per year.
Senate Bill 13-137: Signed by the Governor on May 13th, SB 137 also relates to the Medicaid program. Specifically, the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing is to issue a request for information by September 30, 2013 regarding the use of predictive analytics technologies as a means of “obtaining information on proven strategies to identify and reduce fraud, waste and abuse in Medicaid prior to payment of claims.”
The results obtained from such requests are meant to be used to develop strategies that “result in cost savings to the state, will be integrated into existing operations without creating additional costs to the state and not result in delays or improper denial of legitimate claims by providers.”
Hope to see you next year!
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 www.dorisbeaver.com or e-mail her at doris @ dorisbeaver.com.