Governor Polis has released his proposed record $40 billion 2022-23 state budget. This comes on the heels of a stronger-than-expected economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and includes a number of one-time investments made possible by funding from the federal CARES Act. Read all the details here.
What does the proposed budget mean for physicians?
In his public statements last week, Governor Polis acknowledged the burden COVID continues to have, stating “We’ve seen the challenges the pandemic has exposed in our workforce, health care, and childcare systems. My proposed balanced budget aims to build on the foundations that have been laid to help Colorado recover faster and stronger.”
The proposal includes:
- Across-the-board 0.5% Medicaid rate increase for physicians and other providers.
- Establishment of aligned, statewide all-payer alternative payment models (APMs) for primary and maternal care.
- Three mandatory APMs, including shared savings for pharmacy prescribers using the Prescriber Tool, a bundled payment methodology in maternity care, and partial capitation payments to primary care providers.
- Creation of a Colorado Providers of Distinction program for primary care, specialty, and hospital-based procedures.
- Encouragements for the legislature to pursue investments to help rural health care providers access critical data and technology, improve care coordination, and enhance efficacy for rural patients.
- A portion of the federal stimulus money is also earmarked for rural hospitals and clinics.
- Investment in behavioral health, including expanded residential services for youth with acute behavioral health needs and staffing to increase capacity at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Fort Logan.
The Joint Budget Committee of the Colorado General Assembly will use the governor’s proposal to inform their own budget priorities, which will eventually become a bill voted on by the legislature next spring.