911 is a vital link for saving lives. So, the last thing older adults need is finding 911 on life support itself.
Many Coloradans have worked diligently to ensure 911 remains connected to citizens across the state.

Please see the 911 Task Force report prepared by the Colorado Legislative Council for the benefit of the General Assembly – CLICK HERE

No bill has been introduced as this report is newly released late last week. Basic emergency service is a bedrock right. This is an issue to watch closely; so, consider this attachment a heads-up!

The Senior Space examines the 2017 General Assembly through an older adult lens. Each week we introduce the new bills first; and, then we update the bills we are following and identify for you the next chapter in each of those bills.

Currently, there are 300+ bills that have been introduced to-date. As of today, The Senior Space is following 38 bills affecting older adults in Colorado.

Do you have your Legislative Directory? Click http://leg.colorado.gov/legislators and find your representatives there.

New Bills we are watching

Technical Issues Filing Medicaid Appeals. The bill clarifies that a Medicaid recipient (recipient) who files an appeal does not need to make an affirmative request to continue Medicaid benefits during the appeal. The bill requires the department of health care policy and financing (department) to send the recipient written confirmation of continuing benefits. For a recipient who chooses not to continue receiving benefits during the appeal process, the form and electronic filing process for appeals must include a check box or other method to opt out of continuing benefits Public Health Care & Human Services

Medicaid Provider Compliance Billing Safety Rules. The bill subjects a provider of Medicaid services to a civil monetary penalty if the provider improperly bills or seeks collection from a Medicaid recipient or the estate of a Medicaid recipient. Public Health Care & Human Services

Audits of Medicaid Client Correspondence. The bill directs the office of the state auditor (OSA) to conduct or cause to be conducted an audit of client communications, including letters and notices, sent to clients or potential clients in Medicaid programs. The audits will be conducted in 2020 and 2023 and thereafter at the discretion of the state auditor. Public Health Care & Human Services, Feb. 14th, 1:30p, Room 0107

Statutory Definition of Construction Defect. Concerning the statutory definition of a construction defect for purposes of the ‘Construction Defect Action Reform Act. Business, Labor & Technology

Homeowners’ Association Construction Defect Lawsuit Approval Timelines. The bill states that when the governing documents of a common interest community require mediation or arbitration of a construction defect claim and the requirement is later amended or removed, mediation
or arbitration is still required for a construction defect claim. Business, Labor, & Technology

Modify Composition Of PERA Public Employees’ Retirement Association Board Of Trustees. Concerning modifications to the composition of the board of trustees of the public employees’ retirement association. Finance

SB-162 & SB-163
Supplemental Appropriations for Dept. of Health Care Policy & Financing and Dept. of Human Services

Bills we are watching

Reverse Mortgage Repayment when Home Uninhabitable. Concerning the suspension of a borrower’s obligation to repay a reverse mortgage when a force majeure renders the subject property uninhabitable as a principal residence. Local Government Committee, Feb 15th, 1:30p, Room 0107

Extend Home Care Allowance Grant Program. The bill modifies the repeal date of the home care allowance grant program (program). Public Health Care & Human Services Committee, Jan. 31st, refer unamended to Appropriations, nothing scheduled

Update National Standards Citations Accessible Housing. The bill amends references to an out-of-date version of a standard, promulgated by the American national standards institute, that governs construction of accessible housing. Local Government, nothing scheduled

Requirement Durable Medical Equipment Suppliers. Individuals in the state, closer to other state borders, can only find suppliers across the border. This is primarily an access bill. Current law says the supplier must be from Colorado. Health, Insurance & Environment Committee, Feb. 14th, Upon Adjournment, Room 0107

Office of Public Guardianship Pilot Prevention Program. The bill creates the office of public guardianship (office) within the judicial department to provide legal guardianship services to indigent and incapacitated adults. Judiciary Committee, Feb. 23rd, 1:30p, Room 0112

Telehealth Coverage under Health Benefit Plans. Concerning modifications to the requirements for health benefit plans to cover health care services delivered via telehealth. Health Insurance & Environment, Feb 7th, Upon Adjournment, Room 0107

Continue Low-income Household Energy Assistance. This bill continues energy-related assistance to low-income households. Transportation & Energy Committee, Feb 16th, Upon Adjournment, Room 0112

Patient Safety Act. The bill requires applicants for initial licensure or certification, as well as current licensees and certificate holders, to submit to a fingerprint-based criminal history record check. Includes: Podiatrists, Dentists and dental hygienists, Medical doctors, physician assistants, and anesthesiologists; Nurses, Certified nurse aides, Optometrists and Veterinarians. Health, Insurance & Environment, Feb 16th, 1:30p, Room 271

Medicaid Appeal Review Legal Notice Requirements. The bill requires the administrative law judge hearing Medicaid appeals to review the legal sufficiency of the notice of action from which the recipient is appealing at the commencement of the appeal hearing if the notice of action concerns the termination or reduction of an existing benefit. If the notice is legally insufficient, the judge shall advise the appellant that he or she may waive the defense of insufficient notice and proceed to a hearing on the merits or may ask the judge to decide the appeal based on the judge’s finding of insufficiency. The judge shall advise the appellant that a legally sufficient notice may be issued in the future and that the state may recoup benefits from the appellant. Health Care and Human Services. Nothing scheduled.

Repeal Colorado Health Benefit Exchange. Repeals the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Act of 2010 and gives that entity one year to ‘wind up its affairs’ by January 1st, 2018. Finance Committee, Feb. 7th, 2:00p, Room 357

Access to Providers for Medicaid Recipients. Concerning access by Medicaid recipients to non-enrolled medical providers. Health & Human Services Committee, Feb 9th, 1:30p, Legislative Services Bldg., Hearing Room B

Study Transportation Access for People with Disabilities. How can advanced technologies improve and increase access for people with disabilities? This would be a pilot project throughout the year. Health & Human Services Committee, Passed 3rd Reading, no Amendments, nothing scheduled

Rural Economic Advancement of Colorado Towns. Allows Department of Local Affairs to coordinate nonmonetary assistance and award grant money to assist rural communities with job creation or retention. Finance Committee, Feb. 14th, 2:00p, Room 357

Repeal Local Government Internet Service Voter Approval. Concerns the repeal of existing restrictions on the ability of a local government to provide certain electronic communications services. Business, Labor & Technology Committee, Feb 13th, 2:00pm, Room 354

Construction Defect Claim Allocation of Defense Costs. Concerning a requirement for equitable allocation of the costs of defending a construction defect claim. This is just one bill expected on the construction defects issue. Business, Labor & Technology Committee, Feb 8th, 2:00pm, Room 354

Colorado Healthcare Affordability & Sustainability Enterprise. This is the Hospital Provider Fee bill. Concerning the creation of an enterprise that is exempt from the requirements of section 20 of article X of the state constitution and related statutory provisions to administer a fee-based healthcare affordability and sustainability program for hospitals. Finance Committee, nothing scheduled

License Freestanding Emergency Departments. Licensing those freestanding emergency care facilities outside a hospital setting. State Veterans & Military Affairs Committee, Feb 8th, 1:30pm, Room 357

Transparency in Direct Pay Health Care Prices. Concerning a requirement that health care providers disclose the charges they impose for common health care services when payment is made directly rather than by a third party. Health & Human Services Committee, Feb. 6th, 10:00a, Senate Chamber

Income Tax Deduction for Military Retirement Benefits. Concerning a state income tax deduction for military retirement benefits. Finance Committee, nothing scheduled

Rural Broadband Deployment. Concerning the use of high cost support mechanism funds for rural broadband deployment. Business, Labor & Technology Committee, Feb 13th, 2:00pm, Room 354

Coverage for Drugs in a Health Coverage Plan. The bill prohibits a health insurance carrier from excluding or limiting a drug for an enrollee in a health coverage plan if the drug was covered at the time the enrollee enrolled in the plan. A carrier may not raise the costs to the enrollee for the drug during the enrollee’s plan year. Health & Human Services Committee, Feb 9th, 1:30pm, Legislative Services Bldg. Hearing Room B

Increase Documentary Fee and Fund Attainable Housing. Concerning an increase in the fee imposed by counties in connection with the recording of real estate documents for the purpose of financing a statewide attainable housing investment fund. State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee, Feb 13th, 1:30pm, Room 357

Authorizing Local Government Inclusionary Housing Programs. Rent control was outlawed in Colorado in 1981. For those housing units, however, that fall into an inclusionary zoning project, “control” would not be unlawful. State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee, Feb 6th, 1:30pm, Room 357

SB -091
Allow Medicaid Home Health Services. Removes restriction that services be provided in the home alone. Health & Human Services Committee, Refer Unamended to Appropriations, nothing scheduled

Mobile Home Parks. Concerning mobile home parks, and, in connection therewith, promoting home ownership, protecting property rights, and providing incentives to local governments to preserve and develop mobile home park communities. Veterans and Military Affairs, Feb. 13th, 1:30p, Room 357

Cap Employer Contribution Rates for PERA (Public Employees’ Retirement Association.) Finance, Feb. 7th, 10:00am, Senate Chamber.

Improve Medicaid Client Correspondence. Ensure due process is being followed. Health & Human Services, Feb. 16th, Room 354

Insurance Commissioner Investigation of Provider Complaints. Requires the commissioner to investigate provider complaints and notify the provider of the results of the investigation. Business Labor & Technology

Access to Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Concerning access to the electronic prescription drug monitoring program. Health & Human Services, Feb. 16th, 1:30p, Room 354

Consumer Access to Health Care. Concerning changes in the requirements for the coverage of health care benefits to allow for increased consumer access to health care services. Business, Labor & Technology, Feb. 15th, 2:00p, Room 354

View Colorado Senior Lobby’s Current Bill Sheet – CLICK HERE
– Steve

Steve Grund serves as Policy Chair for the Colorado Aging Commission and as a legislative liaison for the Colorado Senior Lobby. The Senior Space, however, is a reflection of his views only.
Email Steve