04 Mar 2014

Colorado Makes Medicaid More Efficient & Effective

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Implementation of 12 months continuous eligibility for children in Medicaid will improve quality and reduce bureaucracy

PRESS RELEASE – March 4, 2014 – The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) announced today that it has implemented a new policy that will ensure kids who enroll in Medicaid will get continuous coverage for 12 months, regardless of changes in income or family size. All Kids Covered celebrates this development and offers the following statements in response:

“Getting kids covered – and keeping them covered – is essential to ensuring they grow up healthy and strong. This new policy will guarantee kids can keep their public coverage for a full year, reducing headaches and hassles for parents and providers and ensuring kids have access to the full host of preventive care and treatments they need,” said Cody Belzley, Vice President of Health Initiatives, Colorado Children’s Campaign.

“In order to maximize the benefit of health insurance, it needs to be consistent and reliable. Children who have continuous coverage are more likely to receive high quality health care in medical homes instead of emergency rooms. Implementing 12 months continuous eligibility will allow pediatricians to focus on establishing a relationship with the child and family. It provides the opportunity for families to get the care and services they need to stay healthy. This policy change will be more efficient for Colorado and the more than 400,000 children who will benefit from better health care.” Steve Federico, MD, Past President, Colorado Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

“Guaranteeing coverage for 12 months will give families the peace of mind of knowing they have reliable access to care when their kids need it. It will also bring peace of mind knowing that a little more income from a seasonal job or small raise at work won’t cost them their kids’ health coverage. This will make a big difference in the lives of working families,” said Consuelo Quezada, Together Colorado leader and mother of two children who have Medicaid.

“Kaiser Permanente Colorado applauds Governor Hickenlooper and Director Birch for their work to implement 12 months of continuous eligibility for children on Medicaid. Preventing breaks in continuity of care and coverage through continuous eligibility will help improve health outcomes, enhance the health care experience of Medicaid clients, and support cost efficiencies,” said Jandel Allen-Davis, MD, Vice-President of Government and External Relations for Kaiser Permanente Colorado.

“This is a common sense policy that will improve the quality of care for kids and families and reduce administrative burdens for doctors and the state. We are excited to see this policy implemented and want to thank Governor Hickenlooper and Director Birch for their leadership and dedication to making it happen,” said Gretchen Hammer, Executive Director of Center for Health Progress.

“Thanks to the hard work of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, this policy removes a major barrier to kids staying covered. Twelve-month continuous eligibility will allow kids to keep the same public health insurance for a year and will provide peace of mind to struggling families. With this change, kids will have consistency in receiving age appropriate check-ups and preventative care, and doctors will be able to focus more on providing care instead of administrative and billing hassles.” Stephanie Brooks, Policy Analyst with Covering Kids and Families.

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