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Colorado Governor, Legislators Initiate State Health Reform Measures

by Astrid Fiano, DOTmed News Writer | February 17, 2010
In the absence of federal
health reform, Colorado takes
matters into its own hands
Stating that the state of Colorado "can't wait for Washington to act," Governor Bill Ritter has announced new health care legislation including ten bills and an executive order. Governor Ritter says that the legislation "will focus on three main areas of health care: increasing cost-savings, efficiencies and accountability; improving public and private systems; and protecting and improving care for women."

Governor Ritter's Executive Order provides for increased efficiency in Medicaid and the state's Children's Basic Health Plan through a requirement that state agencies electronically share citizenship information. This facilitates low-income persons in applying for public assistance programs.

The ten bills are:

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--SB 10-167, Concerning the Medicaid Assistance Act, and Creating the Medicaid False Claims Act: will increase administrative efficiencies and strengthen measures in fighting fraud and abuse.

--HB 10-1330, Concerning Creation of an Advisory Committee to Make Recommendations Regarding the Creation of an All-Payer Health Claims Database: The bill requires the executive director of the department of health care policy and financing to appoint an advisory committee to make recommendations regarding the creation of a Colorado all-payer health claims database for the purpose of transparent public reporting of health care information.

--HB 10-1166, Concerning the Use of Plain Language in Insurance Policies: The bill requires that automobile insurance policies, health benefit plans, limited benefit health insurance, dental plans, and long-term care plans that are issued or renewed on or after July 1, 2011, be written at or below the tenth-grade reading level. The current law does not require a readability level.

--HB 10-1242, Concerning the Implementation of a Uniform Application for Individual Health Benefit Plans: The bill requires the commissioner of insurance to implement a uniform application form for individual sickness and accident health benefit plans.

--HB 10-1004, Concerning Standardization of Health Insurance Information Provided to Consumers: The bill requires the commissioner of insurance to establish standard formats for policy forms and explanation of benefit forms provided by health insurance carriers to consumers. The commissioner would seek input from the health insurance industry, consumers, and other stakeholders prior to adopting the rules.

--HB 10-1332, Concerning the Creation of the Medical Clean Claims Transparency and Uniformity Act: The bill creates the Act, which requires the executive director of the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to establish a task force of industry and government representatives to develop a standardized set of payment rules and claim edits to be used by payers and health care providers in Colorado.