Bipartisan Behavioral Health Bill Bounds Forward

Committee advances Rep. Mary Young’s proposal to create a comprehensive behavioral health crisis response training

DENVER, CO– The House Public Health and Insurance Committee  today advanced Representative Mary Young’s bipartisan proposal to develop a comprehensive care coordination and treatment training model for people who work with persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and behavioral health needs. The bill passed unanimously

“Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities face enormous obstacles accessing the unique behavioral health care they need,” said Rep. Mary Young, D-Greeley. “Far too often, people with disabilities and co-occurring behavioral health needs end up in mental health institutions, emergency rooms, and even prisons because of the lack of adequate care. Our bill will ensure that providers across the state are aptly trained in crisis response and comprehensive behavioral health care treatment for this population. Conducting the training remotely and prioritizing underserved areas will ensure that we provide training where it’s needed most.” 

HB21-1166, also sponsored by Rep. Perry Will (R-Garfield County), would require the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) to locate and contract a vendor to provide virtual training on a comprehensive care coordination and treatment model for professionals who work with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and co-occurring behavioral health needs.

Once the vendor is secured and the training is set up, the bill would require behavioral health service providers including case management agencies, mental health centers, and other approved service agencies to nominate one provider to be trained in the model. Up to 20 providers may be selected for training on a regional basis, and an additional 10 providers from underserved areas will be selected by HCPF with coordination from case management agencies.