Today, Colorado Center on Law and Policy (CCLP) and the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Justice.
Bethany Pray provided testimony for Senate Bill 24-093, Continuity of Health-Care Coverage Change. CCLP is in support of SB24-093.
CCLP Policy Fellow, Milena Castañeda testified at the Medical Services Board meeting regarding emergency rules for the NEMT.
Chaer Robert provided testimony against House Bill 24-1065, Reduction of State Income Taxes. CCLP is in opposition of HB24-1065.
CCLP’s Public Comment on Mental Health Parity for Colorado Medicaid
Earlier this month, Bethany Pray, Interim Executive Director of Colorado Center on Law and Policy, provided the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) with a public comment regarding mental health parity for Colorado Medicaid. Individuals interested in providing comments could do so until March 15, 2023.
For Colorado, the annual parity report aims to assess limitations placed on access to behavioral health benefits and ensure they are no greater than the limitations placed on access to medical care. In this case, “limitations” can include the need to get authorization to start or continue care, how provider compensation is decided, or limits on someone’s ability to appeal a denial.
Colorado’s annual parity report is publicly posted, which is beneficial for advocates to determine the changes needed to make Colorado’s Medicaid program, Health First Colorado, more equitable. However, the parity report falls significantly short of what is required. Even when violations of federal and state parity laws are found, they may not get fixed, and many people fail to receive the necessary services provided. In fact, some massive systems violations were found which confirm it is harder to get and keep certain kinds of services when someone has a behavioral health issue rather than medical.
Some of the key findings CCLP found include:
- The analysis is inadequate and is missing key elements;
- Problems are minimized or ignored in the Parity Report; and
- Even when parity violations are acknowledged, the state fails to act promptly to bring the state into compliance or make members whole.