by Gerald Zarlengo, MD, Chairman & CEO, COPIC Insurance Company
Featured in the Fall 2023 Colorado Medicine Colorado Medicine.
Since the day COPIC was founded, one of our core ideals was to be more than just an insurance company. We have always recognized our unique role in health care and the responsibility to use our insight, experience and assets to contribute in meaningful ways. Two long-standing and prominent areas that highlight this are grant funding and legislative advocacy.
GRANT FUNDING THROUGH THE COPIC MEDICAL FOUNDATION
Grants to support promising initiatives and programs in health care are a cornerstone of the COPIC Medical Foundation’s (CMF) mission. We continue to focus on funding around the issue of reducing fragmentation across care settings. A top concern in the field of patient safety, breakdowns in care from a fragmented health care system can lead to readmissions, missed diagnoses, medication errors, delayed treatment, duplicative testing and procedures, and reduction in quality of care leading to general patient and provider dissatisfaction.
For CMF, contributing to a solution to this safety concern means supporting scalable or replicable solutions, focusing on the testing of new ideas or growing existing solutions, and then seeing avenues for larger application.
Funding cycle – CMF is accepting applications Nov. 1, 2023 through Jan. 12, 2024 for its 2024 cycle of grant funding.
Criteria – To be considered for funding, organizations must meet the following minimum criteria:
- Approach or program has demonstrated potential for uptake or replication by the health care community
- Organization is designated as a 501(c)(3) organization or has an identified fiduciary
Deadlines and applications – Grant applications are due Jan. 12, 2024 by 5 p.m. (Mountain Time). Applications can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants can expect to hear from CMF regarding potential support by March 31, 2024. Download the grant requirements and application on the COPIC website at www.copicfoundation.org.
LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY – ENGAGEMENT TO IMPROVE MEDICINE
COPIC has long believed that taking an active role in advocating on legislative issues is an important way to allow the health care community to devote its resources to quality improvement and patient care. Our Public Affairs team oversees year-round state-level legislative advocacy efforts that are done in collaboration with partner organizations such as the Colorado Medical Society and Colorado Hospital Association. These efforts center on monitoring initiatives that may impact the tort environment, change regulatory oversight, create unreasonable burdens on health care delivery or reduce access to quality health care. Our goal is to provide our insureds a sense of assurance in knowing that COPIC is keeping an eye on legislative issues so they can focus on their patients.
Key aspects of legislative advocacy
COPIC’s proactive and collaborative approach toward legislative advocacy includes the following:
- Monitoring and reviewing proposed legislation: Every year, there are many bills brought forth that have the potential to impact health care. COPIC reviews introduced bills throughout the legislative session, assessing each for possible unintended consequences impacting patient safety, tort, quality of care and other liability issues.
- Building relationships with state legislators and regulators: COPIC engages with legislative and regulatory leaders year-round to identify opportunities to work together and serve as a trusted resource to inform policy and regulations impacting health care delivery by providing facts, research, and evidence-based data to assist in their understanding of the medical, legal and economic implications of health care-related bills.
- Political contributions and campaign support: Each election cycle, COPIC works to identify candidates that support our priority issues. We work hard to build their trust and understanding, which includes supporting them with bill reviews and analysis as well as supporting their campaigns for election or reelection.
As we get ready for the 2024 legislative session, our Public Affairs team is focused on preparing for the challenges that may emerge. In particular, our efforts are focused on reinforcing reforms that have created a balanced, stable tort environment in Colorado for over 35 years, and the importance of defending those reforms in order to protect access to care and reduce costs. We look forward to working with our health care partners on issues that connect back to COPIC’s mission to improve medicine in the communities we serve.