Thursday, October 12, 2017

What's next at the national level with health care reform?

From the CO Health Policy Coalition on October 12, 2017:

"In response to unsuccessful efforts in Congress to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, this morning President Trump signed a wide-ranging Executive Order: Promoting Health Care Choice and Competition Across the United States. The broad measure seeks to expand access to lower-cost, less comprehensive private insurance, allow employers to give employees money to buy individual coverage and slow consolidation of health plans and hospitals. To accomplish these things, the Order directs the Departments of Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services to work together to revise regulations and guidance in a number of areas. As such, this signals the beginning of a regulatory policy-making process that will unfold over the coming weeks and months. The specific timeline for implementation of new policies and the impact on insurance markets for 2018 is unclear. The White House's summary of the Executive Order, talking points and frequently asked questions is available here

Summaries and analysis from other sources are just now becoming available. A few worth noting include:  

Trump's Order Advances GOP Go-To Ideas to Broaden Insurance Choices, Curb Costs, Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News
Trump Executive Order Expands Opportunities for Healthier People to Exit ACA, Timothy Jost for Health Affairs Blog

Additionally, organizations are beginning to release statements in response. I have compiled a few from key organizations here for your review. 

Latest from CO Dept. of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF)

Dental Advisory Committee Seats Available:
"As you may be aware, the Colorado Dental Health Care Program for Low-Income Seniors (the Senior Dental Program) is to promote the health and welfare of Colorado’s low-income seniors. The Senior Dental Program provides access to dental care to low-income seniors that meet the following criteria:
·         60 years of age or older;
·         Lawfully present in Colorado;
·         Economically disadvantaged (income is at or below 250% of the most recently published federal poverty level for a household of that size); and
·         Not eligible for dental services under Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) or the Old Age Pension Health and Medical Care Program, and who do not have private dental insurance.

The Senior Dental Program is overseen by the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (the Department) with the oversight of the Dental Advisory Committee (DAC). The DAC serves as a forum where the Department and the stakeholder community can discuss the Senior Dental Program along with making recommendations to the Medical Services Board.

The Committee members are asked to meet at least quarterly to receive updates, review, and comment on proposals received from Senior Dental Program grantees. Members will be appointed by the Department’s Executive Director and will be appointed to 3-year terms. There are currently two seats available and the Department is seeking candidates to fill the following interest areas on the DAC:
1.  A representative from a safety-net health provider that is not a community health center, as defined in the Federal “Public Health Service Act”, 42 U.S.C. sec.254b and
2.  A consumer advocate.

If you, or someone else you may know, is interested in participating on the Committee, please send a detailed email describing the following:
·         Which interest area you would like fill;
·         A brief description of your relevant experience;
·         Your role with your current organization and your relationship with low-income seniors; and
·         Why you would like to serve on the Committee. 

In addition to the information requested above, feel free to include a current resume or any supplemental information you think would be helpful for our decision.

Please email your expression of interest and any supporting materials to my attention at with the subject: Dental Program Advisory Committee Membership.  Please respond by October 31, 2017. If you have any questions or need any additional information, please contact me directly via email.

Thank you,
Chandra Vital
Senior Dental Grant Program Administrator
Finance Office

Health Care Advocate Leadership Training Program

The Colorado Community Health Network's (CCHN) Health Care Advocate (HCA) leadership training program is open to community safety net clinics!

"The Health Care Advocate program is designed to develop a select cohort of effective CHC clinician champions who will successfully advocate within their organizations, communities and/or state for health care policies that support comprehensive, person-centered care. This hands-on learning opportunity will help clinicians discover how to advance the health of their communities through the power of advocacy and leadership. The training will have a rural focus and is open to all CHCs and select safety-net partners. Training will begin November 3, 2017, and will run through March 2019 which includes four in-person workshops, executive coaching, and webinar based training applications.  The training will be held in southeastern Colorado at Otero Junior College in La Junta, CO.

The cost of the training is $300 and a $1,200 travel stipend will be available to help offset costs.  Forty-two hours of Continuing Medical Education from American Academy of Family Physicians will be available. Interested clinicians will need support from executive leadership (CMO, CDO, Clinic Director, HR Director, CEO, etc.). CHC executives can also nominate clinicians who are passionate who have a desire to hone their leadership and advocacy skills.  Visit for additional information, including application and a detailed schedule.  Don’t delay – applications are due by October 17, 2017.  

Please contact Kim Moyer at with your interest level and if you have any questions."

Source: CCHN 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Legislation Introduced to Fund the NHSC - Take Action Now!

Urge your Representatives to cosponsor H.R.3862 & S.1899 to reauthorize funding for the NHSC!
Despite a tremendous level of grassroots advocacy, Congress did not take action to avoid the expiration of funding for the National Health Service Corps by October 1. Fortunately, our message has not gone unnoticed. Two bills have been introduced in Congress to reauthorize funding and strengthen the program: 

These bills would not only preserve the Corps, but also propose modest funding increases that will strengthen the field by enabling even more primary care providers to practice in underserved communities. 

While these steps are encouraging, they do not offer any certainty that Congress will act quickly to resolve the NHSC funding cliff. We need every Member of Congress who supports the NHSC to cosponsor these bills. 

Call, email, or tweet your Senators and your Representative today to let them know how important the NHSC is to your community. Urge them to cosponsor H.R.3862 and S.1899. 

Source: Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

What's next at the national level with health care reform?

For now it appears attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act are dead, at least for this year. (There are however a few other things that need advocacy now at the national level - see the 2 posts below re: CHIP & the NHSC)


On Sept. 30, funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which has allowed 8.9 million kids nationally to access quality affordable health care, ends. And with that end comes the end to access to quality, affordable health care.
In Colorado, about 90,000 kids and pregnant women use CHIP and our state agency that oversees the program reports that thousands will begin losing their health care early next year. Pregnant women shouldn’t have to worry about whether their health insurance will end in the middle of their pregnancy. Parents of kids with cancer shouldn’t have to worry about whether they will be able to get their kid’s medicine next year. Call and tell your Senators and Representatives that you expect action now. There’s still time for Congress to do the right thing. (Click here for social media content.)
Suggested talking points:
  • We need Congress to get CHIP refunded by this Saturday.
  • Pregnant women shouldn’t have to worry about whether their health insurance will end in the middle of their pregnancy.
  • Parents of kids with cancer shouldn’t have to worry about whether they will be able to get their kid’s medicine next year.
  • Extending funding for CHIP for five years will help ensure stable coverage for working families and greater budget certainty for states.
  • Maintaining funding for the CHIP program is crucial to protecting Colorado’s budget.
  • 90,000 children and pregnant women from working families in Colorado use CHIP for their health insurance every year.
  • Kids with health coverage are less likely to drop out of high school, more likely to graduate from college, and have higher incomes as adults.

Contact Information for Colorado’s U. S. Senators

Senator Michael Bennet
Local office (303) 455-7600 National office (202) 224-5852

Senator Cory Gardner
Local office (303) 391-5777 National office (202) 224-5941

Contact Information for Colorado’s U.S. Representatives

Representative Coffman
Call if you live in Aurora, Centennial, Highlands Ranch, Brighton
Local office (720) 748-7514 National office (202) 225-7882

Representative Tipton
Call if you live in Grand Junction, Durango, Pueblo, Gunnison
Local office (970) 259-1490 National office (202) 225-4761

Representative Buck
Call if you live in Greeley, Fort Collins, Longmont, Brush, Burlington, Fort Morgan, Stratton, Julesburg, Holyoke
Local office (970) 702-2136 National office (202) 225-4676

Representative Lamborn
Call if you live in Salida, Buena Vista, Colorado Springs, Monument, Fountain, Canyon City, Woodland Park
Local office (719) 520-0055 National office (202) 225-4422

Representative Polis
Call if you live in Lafayette, Niwot, Boulder, Fort Collins, Lyons, Loveland, Granby, Breckenridge, Silverthorne, Kremmling  
Local office (303) 484-9596 National office (202) 225-2161

Representative Perlmutter
Call if you live in Lakewood, Arvada, Westminster, Thornton, Northglenn
Local office (303)274-7944 National office (202) 225-2645

Representative DeGette
Call if you live in Denver

Local (303) 844-4988 (202) 225-4431

Final Days to Take Action on the National Health Service Corps

"The Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU) is leading the effort to protect the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), and push for its expansion to all underserved in the future.

The NHSC, established in 1972, is designed to incentivize primary care providers to work in the highest need areas of our country. Last year, more than 10,000 NHSC providers were placed in shortage areas of the country. These healthcare professionals served nearly 11 million people in every state and territory.

This effective program is set to expire October 1, 2017. We need to save and strengthen the program this year - and to be successful, we need your help! Click here to TELL CONGRESS TO SAVE THE NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE CORPS TODAY!"

Source: ACU