The health care hot button issues at the Colorado state capitol

by Emily Bishop, Program Manager, CMS Division of Government Relations

State health insurance option

  • One of the most anticipated issues of the 2020 session
  • CMS is committed to being part of the conversation on this bill
  • The CMS Council on Legislation will be carefully reviewing and determining a position following the anticipated introduction of this bill in early March

The opioid epidemic

  • HB20-1085 seeks to address prevention by requiring coverage of alternatives to opioids (ALTOs) by health plans, establishing CME competencies for prescribers, and adding benzodiazepines to the mandatory PDMP check
  • HB20-1065 seeks to reduce the harm of the opioid epidemic by improving access to clean needles and opiate antagonists
  • HB20-1017 seeks to expand services for persons in the criminal justice system with substance use disorders
  • SB20-007 seeks to increase insurance coverage of treatment and increase access to treatment services
  • SB20-028 seeks to provide comprehensive access to recovery services and financial support

Scope of practice

  • HB20-1212 renews the requirement that naturopathic doctors be registered with DORA. The CMS Scope of Practice Subcommittee is working closely with COL to maintain a collaborative relationship with the NDs while ensuring no scope expansions endanger or mislead patients
  • HB20-1209 continues the Nurse-Physician Advisory Task Force indefinitely; CMS supports the collaborative work of NPATCH
  • HB20-1216 amends the Nurse Practice Act by reducing prescriptive authority hours from 1,000 to 750 and eliminating articulated plans; CMS is working closely with the sponsors on these changes to find a balance between patient protection and access
  • CMS is also closely watching the sunsets of chiropractic examiners, audiologist licensing, and occupational therapists, among others, to ensure no scope expansions take place without physician input


  • CMS partnered with the Colorado Vaccinates Coalition to support SB20-163. The coalition secured the support of Gov. Jared Polis on this bill to address falling vaccination rates in the state
  • CMS opposes all anti-vaccination bills introduced this session; four have already been postponed indefinitely

Pharmaceutical costs

  • HB20-1160, HB20-1198 and SB20-107, among other bills, all address the skyrocketing prices of prescription medications; they aim to empower the prescriber and patient with tools to keep costs down while still ensuring access

Workers’ compensation

  • A CMS-sponsored bill to be filed soon ensures providers have access to the Division of Workers’ Compensation Medical Dispute Resolution process; the bill seeks to promote quick and effective delivery of insurance and fairly reimburse participating providers

Medical liability

  • CMS is watching closely for any attempts to jeopardize the current medical liability climate or narrow the corporate practice of medicine to access the deep pockets of health systems, which could endanger physicians’ independent medical judgement and relationships with their patients

Stay tuned for a full legislative report in the May-June issue of Colorado Medicine.

Categories: Communications, Colorado Medicine, Resources, Initiatives, Advocacy