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Treatment Opioid And Other Substance Use Disorders

Concerning treatment for substance use disorders, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
2020 Regular Session
Courts & Judicial
Health Care & Health Insurance
Bill Summary

Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders Study Committee. Section 1 of the bill requires updated community assessments every 2 years of the sufficiency of substance use disorder services in the community to be compiled by an independent entity contracted by the department of human services (DHS). The assessment must include input and the opportunity for review and comment from community entities and individuals. Based on the community assessment, the managed service organization will prepare a draft community action plan and shall allow time for stakeholder review and comment on the plan.

Section 2 of the bill requires insurance carriers to provide coverage for the treatment of substance use disorders in accordance with the American society of addiction medicine (ASAM) criteria for placement, medical necessity, and utilization management determinations in accordance with the most recent edition of the ASAM criteria. The bill also authorizes the commissioner of insurance, in consultation with DHS and the department of health care policy and financing, to identify by rule alternate nationally recognized substance-use-disorder-specific treatment criteria if the ASAM criteria are no longer available, relevant, or reflect best practices.

Sections 3, 4, and 5 of the bill increases funding by $1 million for provider loan forgiveness and scholarships from the Colorado health service corps fund in the department of public health and environment (CDPHE). The bill recognizes a goal of the loan forgiveness and scholarship programs of creating a diverse health care workforce that is able to address the needs of underserved populations and communities.

Section 6 of the bill authorizes a pharmacy that has entered into a collaborative pharmacy agreement with one or more physicians to receive an enhanced dispensing fee for the administration of all injectable medications for medication-assisted treatment that are approved by the federal food and drug administration, and not just injectable antagonist medication.

Section 7 of the bill requires DHS to commission a state child care and treatment study and final report to make findings and recommendations concerning gaps in family-centered substance use disorder treatment and to identify alternative payment structures for funding child care and children's services alongside substance use disorder treatment of a child's parent. DHS shall distribute the report to the general assembly and present the report in its annual presentation to committees of the general assembly.

Sections 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 of the bill prohibit managed service organization contracted providers; withdrawal management services; and recovery residences from denying access to medical or substance use disorder treatment services, including recovery services, to persons who are participating in prescribed medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders. In addition, the bill prohibits courts and parole, probation, and community corrections from prohibiting the use of prescribed medication-assisted treatment as a condition of participation or placement.

Section 13 of the bill requires managed care entities to provide coordination of care for the full continuum of substance use disorder and mental health treatment and recovery services, including support for individuals transitioning between levels of care.

Section 14 of the bill appropriates $250,000 to the office of behavioral health in DHS for allocation to the center for research into substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery support strategies for the continued employment of grant writers to aid local communities in need of assistance to access federal and state money to address opioid and other substance use disorders in their communities.

Section 15 of the bill authorizes the commissioner of insurance, in consultation with CDPHE, to promulgate rules, or to seek a revision of the essential health benefits package, for prescription medications for medication-assisted treatment to be included on insurance carriers' formularies.

Section 16 of the bill requires insurance carriers to report to the commissioner of insurance on the number of in-network providers who are licensed to prescribe medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders, including buprenorphine, and of that number, to indicate how many providers are actively prescribing medication-assisted treatment. The bill requires the commissioner of insurance to promulgate rules concerning the reporting.

Section 17 of the bill requires insurance carriers to provide coverage for naloxone hydrochloride, or other similarly acting drug, without prior authorization and without imposing any deductible, copayment, coinsurance, or other cost-sharing requirement.

Section 18 of the bill requires DHS to implement a program for training and community outreach relating to, at a minimum, the availability of and process for civil commitment of persons with an alcohol or substance use disorder. The training must be provided to first responders, law enforcement, emergency departments, primary care providers, and persons and families of persons with a substance use disorder, among others.

Sections 19 through 65 of the bill consolidate part 1 of article 82 of title 27, C.R.S., relating to emergency treatment and voluntary and involuntary commitment of persons for treatment of drugs into the existing part 1 of article 81 of title 27, C.R.S., relating to emergency treatment and voluntary and involuntary commitment of persons for treatment of alcohol use disorders, in order to create a single process that includes all substances.

The new scope of part 1 of article 81 of title 27, C.R.S., includes both alcohol use disorder and substance use disorder under the defined term "substance use disorder".

The amendments and additions to part 1 of article 81 of title 27, C.R.S., include:

  • Defining "administrator" to include an administrator's designee;
  • Adding a definition of "incapacitated by substances" to include a person who is incapacitated by alcohol or incapacitated by substances;
  • Changing terminology throughout to refer to "substances" to include both alcohol and drugs;
  • Adjusting the duration of the initial involuntary commitment from 30 days to up to 90 days;
  • Allowing a person to enter into a stipulated order for committed treatment, expediting placement into treatment;
  • Removing the mandatory hearing for the initial involuntary commitment but allowing a person to request a hearing if the person does not want to enter into a stipulated order for committed treatment;
  • Incorporating in statute "patient's rights" relating to civil commitment;
  • Using person-centered language throughout the statutory process; and
  • Relocating the existing opioid crisis recovery funds advisory committee from article 82 in title 27, C.R.S., to article 81 in title 27, C.R.S.

In addition, the bill makes conforming amendments, including several in the professional licensing statutes in title 12, C.R.S., to remove references to both alcohol use disorder and substance use disorder as grounds for professional discipline, and replaces those terms with the single term "substance use disorder",which the bill now defines in article 81 of title 27, C.R.S., to include both drugs and alcohol.

The bill also makes conforming amendments to remove statutory references to provisions in part 2 of article 82 of title 27, C.R.S., which the bill repeals, and replaces those references with a new reference to the relevant provisions in article 81 of title 27, C.R.S.

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)


Under Consideration


Bill Text