Skip to main content
Colorado General AssemblyToggle Main Menu
Agency NameToggle Agency Menu

i_opioidsubstance_2017a_2017-10-23t09:32:09z7 Hearing Summary

Date: 10/23/2017

Location: RM 271


BILL SUMMARY for Bill Discussion - Bill 6


Votes: View--> Action Taken:
<none> <none>

05:28 PM -- Bill Discussion - Bill 6

Brita Darling, representing the Office of Legislative Legal Services, summarized Bill 6 and distributed it to the committee (Attachment Y). The bill prohibits individual and group health benefit plans from requiring prior authorization for medication-assisted treatment. The bill requires all individual and group health benefit plans to include in the carrier's prescription drug benefit coverage a transdermal analgesic lidocaine patch for treatment of pain.


Additionally, all individual and group health benefit plans that cover physical therapy, acupuncture, or chiropractic services shall not subject those services to dollar limits, deductibles, copayments, or coinsurance provisions that are less favorable than those applicable to primary care services under the plan if the covered person has a diagnosis of chronic pain and has or has had a substance use disorder diagnosis.

The bill prohibits carriers from requiring a covered person to undergo step therapy using a prescription drug or drugs that include an opioid before covering a non-opioid prescription drug recommended by the covered person's provider.

The bill requires the Colorado Medical Assistance Program to authorize reimbursement for the brand-name version of intranasal naloxone hydrochloride, or Narcan, in addition to the generic version of the drug.

The bill prohibits the requirement that a recipient of medical assistance undergo a step-therapy protocol using a prescription drug containing an opioid prior to authorizing reimbursement for a non-opioid prescription drug recommended by the person's health care provider.

The bill prohibits prior authorization under the Colorado medical assistance program for medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders.

Amendment 1 was distributed to the committee (Attachment Z). Representative Kennedy provided additional details about the bill. Committee members dialogued about the provisions of the bill.


05:38 PM

Representative Kennedy responded to committee questions regarding drug pricing, and specific medication and dosages. Committee members continued to discuss the bill.

05:53 PM

Ms. Darling explained amendment 1 to the committee. Representative Pettersen commented on amendment 1.

05:55 PM -- Heidi Scholssberg, representing herself, testified in a neutral capacity.

05:56 PM --
Dr. Judy Zerzan, representing HCPF, testified in a neutral capacity and expressed concerns regarding prohibition of prior authorizations. Dr. Zerzan responded to committee questions regarding medication assisted treatment and prior authorizations.

06:09 PM --
Sara Orrange, representing the Colorado Association of Health Plans, testified in a neutral capacity and expressed concern regarding cost sharing provisions in the bill. Ms. Orrange responded to committee questions regarding cost sharing.

06:15 PM

The meeting adjourned.

Colorado legislature email addresses ending in are no longer active. Please replace with for Colorado legislature email addresses. Details

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details