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April 26, 2023

McCluskie Bill to Increase Affordable Health Care Passes House

DENVER, CO - The House today passed a bipartisan bill by a vote of 62 to 3 to expand access to community health services through Medicaid reimbursement.

“Community Health Workers play an essential role providing Coloradans with affordable health care services, but their funding has usually come from time-limited grants or through non-profits,” said Speaker Julie McCluskie, D-Dillon. “This bipartisan legislation would seek Medicaid reimbursement for community health services, boosting our health care workforce so Coloradans will have better access to the affordable health care services they need.”

SB23-002, also sponsored by Representative Mary Bradfield, would save money on health care by providing a lower cost option for preventative health care and seeks Medicaid reimbursement for community health workers that would incentivize growth in the workforce. The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) would be authorized to seek federal authorization from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide Medicaid reimbursement for community health worker services, which would secure long-term funding to make urgently-needed care both easier to access and more affordable for the Coloradans who depend on it.

Services provided by community health workers include preventative services, screening, assessments, behavioral or dental health-related services, health coaching, and advocacy. The bill requires HCPF to seek federal approval by July 1, 2024, and to begin implementing coverage once approval is received.

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