April 17, 2012

(Denver) – The House gave initial approval today to a major bill to reform the state’s Medicaid payment system, taking an important step toward containing needy Coloradans’ health care costs, which have put a severe strain on the state budget.

HB12-1281, sponsored by Rep. Dave Young (D-Greeley), would establish pilot programs as alternatives to the current “fee for service” payment system, which compensates health professionals according to how many times their patients visit their offices, and toward a system that rewards health professionals according to how well they achieve positive results for their patients. It will help Colorado contain health care costs while ensuring that people are getting quality care.

Rep. Young said that under the bill, Medicaid payors will partner with the state health department to create pilot programs to restructure payment systems with a goal of incentivizing better health outcomes for patients and cutting costs while also increasing patient satisfaction.

“We have an unsustainable situation with our Medicaid program,” Rep. Young told the House. “These pilot projects will set the tone for long-term improvements and assist in data collection so we can really see what works and build on the innovations that make most sense to Coloradans.”

The bill is cosponsored by Rep. Cheri Gerou (R-Evergreen).

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