(Jan. 29) – Two bills that will help streamline and improve access to health care passed the House Health , Insurance & Environment Committee today. Both are sponsored by Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp (D-Arvada).
“Both of these bills’ intent is to improve the effectiveness of our health care system here in Colorado,” Rep. Kraft-Tharp said.
HB13-1074 gives flexibility to the Executive Director of the Primary Care Office to align programs in an effort to improve efficiency and effectiveness to reduce barriers to access and improve health in Colorado. The goal of the Primary Care Office is to improve access to primary, oral and mental health care services in rural and low-income communities throughout Colorado.
“The Primary Care Office is a good program that helps provide access to health care for citizens,” Rep. Kraft-Tharp said. “Allowing the Executive Director to better align the programs will help make the department be more efficient and elegant.”
The office, which is currently located in the Prevention Services Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, will no longer be under a specific division to better meet the needs of the program and stakeholders. The bill passed the committee unanimously and will move onto Appropriations.
HB13-1115 will bring consistency to Colorado’s insurance statutes by allowing small-group insurance submissions to the All Payer Claims Database. Right now, the database is missing an important segment of data, the small business claims, because of a dated Colorado statute restricting the sharing of mental health claims data for all types of commercial insurance.
Rep. Kraft-Tharp said currently the statute treats claims for mental health differently than claims for physical health.
“The Colorado mental health community has been fighting hard to ensure mental health is treated the same as physical health,” Rep. Kraft Tharp said. “This program helps us understand where our health care dollars are going, and will help ensure that mental health is treated the same as physical health.”
The All Payer Claims Database is a secure, encrypted database of claims data from commercial health plans, Medicare and Medicaid to allow patients and employer purchasers to compare costs and quality among providers enabling them to make informed decisions about where to get their care, and to help providers gauge their costs and outcomes compared to their peers. The bill passed the House, Insurance & Environment Committee by a bipartisan vote of 9 to 2.