Coloradans should be able to get the health care they need, when they need it.
Being able to get our health needs met is vital to a healthy life. Health coverage provides peace of mind and financial security, but it doesn’t always guarantee access to health care. This is why we must also continue to focus on both coverage and access all across Colorado. As a state, we’ve made a lot of progress over the past several years, but there is still a lot of work to be done. We believe all Coloradans should be able to get affordable, high-quality health insurance and access affordable, high-quality, timely health care services when and where we need them. That includes talking with providers in our own language and health care that understands and fits our culture.
We’re taking action.
Medicaid & CHIP
Health First Colorado, which is Colorado’s Medicaid Program, and CHP+, which is Colorado’s version of the national Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, are vital public coverage programs that care for over 25% of all Coloradans. These safety net programs provide free or low-cost coverage that keeps Coloradans healthy and thriving. The expansion of Medicaid in 2014 as part of the Affordable Care Act was the most significant factor in Colorado’s uninsured rate being cut in half. These historic gains and the coverage programs that make them possible require our protection and vigilance. See what we’re up to:
- COALITION – Protect Our Care
- COALITION – All Kids Covered
- BLOG POST – CHP+ Funding
- BLOG POSTS – Coverage
- BLOG POSTS – Access to Care
Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
Some communities in Colorado are rethinking how we utilize our EMS workforce, deploying paramedics and other providers to provide basic health care services in patients’ homes. This is known as mobile integrated health services or community paramedicine, and it allows the health care system to proactively reach patients with unmet health care needs, instead of waiting for them to get sicker and end up in an emergency room. However, there were public policy barriers to making these programs financially feasible, so we brought together stakeholders to find a solution. Learn more about the process and the resulting bipartisan legislation:
- CASE STUDY – Innovations in Emergency Medical Services
- MEMO – EMS Innovations in Colorado (PDF)
- PRESS RELEASE – Senate Bill 69 (passed and signed into law in 2016)
Access to Care Index
Although Colorado has good data available on coverage, data on access to care is limited. With the Colorado Health Institute, we were initially involved in the creation of a tool to measure access to care by combining key data from trusted sources in one place. This tool, known as the Access to Care Index, measures the availability of health care, the services being accessed, and the barriers Coloradans experience in trying to access it.
For more information, please contact our Director of Health Systems Change, Aubrey Hill.