March 27, 2012
(Denver) – A pragmatic, bipartisan bill bringing Colorado to the forefront of Medicaid reform passed the House Appropriations Committee this morning on a unanimous vote that sends it to the House floor.
House Bill 12-1281, sponsored by Rep. Dave Young (D-Greeley) and cosponsored by Rep. Cheri Gerou (R-Evergreen), has broad support from across the health care world, including consumer groups, health plans, and business organizations. The bill creates a path to move Colorado away from the fee-for-service model, and provides an avenue for plans to innovate to find ways to provide better value to consumers while also containing costs.
The bill allows current Medicaid providers to come up with innovative solutions to provide better care at lower costs for current Medicaid patients. Further, it reinforces the financial solvency of the state’s Medicaid providers, helping make significant reforms to Medicaid and help control the effects of budgetary pressures.
“This bill is a huge step forward in reforming Medicaid and ensuring that Colorado consumers get a better bang for their healthcare buck while allowing the market to work in a way that promotes innovation and quality of care,” Rep. Young said.
It is estimated that the Medicaid population in Colorado will grow to approximately 800,000 to one-million members by 2017, and Medicaid currently represents 24 percent of the state’s budget. With these trends, Colorado should look at new ways to move care toward more dynamic, 21st century models, and implementing these pilots will foster modernization and improvement in the way healthcare is delivered in Colorado.