Bills to Improve Long-Term Care Signed into Law

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Bills address vital long-term care services and supports in Colorado


May 27, 2021

Media Contact
Marc Williams

DENVER - Today, Governor Polis signed into law the third of three bills this legislative session aimed at improving how Colorado administers and delivers long-term care services and supports to members enrolled in Colorado Medicaid. Today’s bill signing for HB21-1227 authorizes the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (the Department) to develop clear and predetermined criteria, to analyze and enforce a “demonstration of need” as part of the process to determine where and when a new Colorado Medicaid nursing facility can open when they apply for Colorado Medicaid certification. Any nursing facility certified prior to June 30, 2021, is exempt from the new requirement. Additionally, the bill allows the Department to exempt nursing facilities with 5 or fewer Medicaid beds from the current reimbursement methodology and instead require the facilities to be reimbursed at the statewide average rate. 

“In the aggregate, these pieces of legislation improve both the care delivered by our partners and the quality of life for our members who need long term care services,”  said Executive Director Kim Bimestefer. “We are deeply appreciative of the broad bipartisan support these bills received.” 

Earlier this session, the Governor signed legislation to redesign case management (HB21-1187). This bill helps the Department build a high-performing Medicaid conflict-free case management system that better meets the needs of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, adults 65 and older, persons with physical disabilities and individuals with mental health needs.  

Additionally, the Governor signed SB21-210 allowing for remote supports to improve access to long-term care. Remote supports is an emerging service model that combines technology and direct care to support people with disabilities in a community setting - when hands-on care is not required.  

“When we talk about long-term care, we’d be remiss not to mention all the moving parts that need to come together to make care successful,” said Bonnie Silva, Director of the Office of Community Living at the Department. “This legislation helps address some of those roadblocks and ensure Coloradans receive the appropriate care in the appropriate setting without compromising the quality of that care.” 

About the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing: The Department administers Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid program), Child Health Plan Plus, and other programs for Coloradans who qualify. For more information about the Department, please visit