March 26, 2022

HOUSE COMMITTEE PASSES BILL TO STREAMLINE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CARE ACCESS

DENVER, CO – Legislation to improve Coloradans’ access to behavioral health services today passed the House Public & Behavioral Health & Human Services Committee. This bipartisan bill is designed to streamline behavioral health care access for Coloradans through the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA).

“Building a healthier Colorado begins with improving access to critical behavioral health care,” said Rep. Mary Young, D-Greeley. “We understand that Coloradans often experience barriers to accessing behavioral health care services and treatment. Our bipartisan, transformational bill is designed to knock down those barriers and streamline the process so Coloradans can swiftly receive the behavioral health services they need. Together, we’re making access to behavioral health care more transparent and accountable in Colorado.” HB22-1278, sponsored by Representatives Mary Young and Rod Pelton, would establish a comprehensive, accountable behavioral health safety net system available in every region of Colorado. This includes 15 different critical behavioral health services including substance use, crisis services, criminal justice diversion, trauma informed care, youth services and more. HB22-1278 passed out of committee by a vote of 10 to 1. The BHA will reduce bureaucracy by consolidating fragmented behavioral health networks into one behavioral health administrative services organization (BHASO) per region. The push for this legislation stems from patient frustration surrounding disjointed behavioral health care services. With this bill, patients would be able to more easily access behavioral health services in their community.