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S_HHS_2016A 01/21/2016 01:33:50 PM Committee Summary




Date: 01/21/2016
Time: 01:33 PM to 03:52 PM
Place: RM 271
This Meeting was called to order by
Representative McCann
This Report was prepared by
Anne Wallace
Martinez Humenik
Van Winkle
X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call
Bills Addressed: Action Taken:
Update on the Commission on Uniform State Laws

Introduction of Fiscal Analysts

Presentation by Colorado Deaf-Blind Task Force

Presentation by Colorado Health Institute

Presentation of Connect for Health Colorado's Annual Report
Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

01:36 PM -- Update on the Commission on Uniform State Laws

Representative McCann called the meeting to order. Anne McGihon, Chair, Colorado Commission on Uniform State Laws, and Tom Morris, Secretary, Colorado Commission on Uniform State Laws, presented on Joint Rule 25 and uniform state laws. Mr. Morris referenced a handout (Attachment A) and explained Joint Rule 25 to the committee. He gave an overview of the Colorado Commission on Uniform State Laws, and explained that attorneys and legislators serve as commissioners. He explained the purpose of the commission and the statutory authority of the commission to create state laws.

160121 AttachA.pdf160121 AttachA.pdf

01:41 PM

Ms. McGihon gave an overview of the national Uniform Law Commission. The Commission has 375 members across the country. She described the Commission's annual meetings, during which uniform laws are proposed and voted on. She noted that stakeholder input is taken into account when creating uniform laws, and a drafting committee is formed to review draft bills. She explained that after discussion and revisions, draft uniform laws become acts of the Commission. Ms. McGihon noted that the acts are discussed by stakeholders at the state level.

01:48 PM

Ms. McGihon described five uniform laws to the committee that will be introduced during the 2016 legislative session. She explained that the uniform laws include a digital assets act, a power of attorney act, a student athlete act, a trust decanting act, and recognition of Canadian domestic violence orders act. She noted that it is important for states to maintain jurisdiction through uniform laws, and provided examples of uniform laws, including the uniform commercial code and child support laws.

01:55 PM

In response to questions, Ms. McGihon discussed uniform laws that have not been introduced in Colorado, including the landlord-tenant act.

02:00 PM -- Introduction of Fiscal Analysts

Clare Pramuk, Bill Zepernick, and Chris Creighton, Legislative Council Staff, came to the table. Ms. Pramuk explained the role and subject area expertise of each of the fiscal analysts. She described changes in formatting for fiscal notes, and noted that the analysts are present at most committee meetings to answer questions about fiscal notes.

In response to a question, Ms. Pramuk explained that there has not been a study on accuracy of fiscal notes. She talked about the accuracy of fiscal notes and described the assumptions involved when writing fiscal notes.

02:05 PM -- Presentation by Colorado Deaf-Blind Task Force

Heidi Zimmer, Co-chair, Colorado Deaf-Blind Task Force, Cynde Vaughn, Co-chair, Colorado Deaf-Blind Task Force, and Ruben Hernandez, member, Colorado Deaf-Blind Task Force, presented on the Colorado Deaf-Blind Task Force. The presenters introduced themselves and gave professional and personal background information.

02:09 PM

Ms. Vaughn explained deaf-blindness and different medical conditions to the committee. Two handouts were distributed to the committee (Attachments B and C). She explained how persons with the disability interact and communicate with society. Ms. Vaughn explained the activities of the task force and noted the lack of services specifically for the deaf-blind population in Colorado. Ms. Vaughn described the membership and mission of the task force.

160121 AttachB.pdf160121 AttachB.pdf160121 AttachC.pdf160121 AttachC.pdf

02:13 PM

Ms. Zimmer explained the different communication methodologies used by deaf-blind persons to the committee. She noted the wide range of needs of the deaf-blind community.

Ms. Vaughn continued by explaining that there are four areas of need in the deaf-blind community, including assisted technology, communication, orientation and mobility, and assistance for self sufficiency. She explained the role of the support services provider (SSP) to blind-deaf persons and noted that SSP access is extremely important to deaf-blind persons. Ms. Vaughn explained an example of assisted technology to the committee.

02:19 PM

Mr. Hernandez discussed his work with the elderly disabled with the committee. He explained the challenges of working with the elderly population.

02:21 PM

Ms. Zimmer explained the need for deaf-blind persons to receive training to navigate the community and to retain employment. She gave an example of a successful deaf-blind individual and described her experience as an advocate.

02:24 PM

Ms. Vaughn explained to the committee that it is difficult to know how many deaf-blind persons there are in Colorado because people do not self identity as deaf-blind. She explained the task force's proposal to count the population of deaf-blind and identify the gaps in services in Colorado. She proposed adding 1.5 full-time additional employees to work with the Colorado Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Ms. Vaughn explained that one new full time employee would focus on community outreach to collect data on the deaf-blind population, and the part-time employee would provide SSP services.

02:38 PM

Ms. Vaughn confirmed that the task force was not created by statute. She noted that the unemployment rate for the deaf-blind community is very high. Ms. Zimmer discussed the number of interpreters in Colorado, their training, and the different types of sign languages with the committee.

02:45 PM

Ms. Vaughn gave concluding remarks, and noted the health care costs that occur when deaf-blind persons do not receive services.

02:46 PM -- Presentation by Colorado Health Institute

Allie Morgan, Colorado Health Institute (CHI), and Joe Hanel, CHI, presented on the role and activities of CHI. Ms. Morgan described the health care policy research that CHI conducts, and the services that CHI could provide to legislators.

Mr. Hanel explained the nonpartisan nature of CHI to the committee. He noted that CHI is accountable to foundations that fund the institute. Ms. Morgan referenced a handout that includes published work by CHI (Attachment D). Committee members commented on CHI's work.

160121 AttachD.pdf160121 AttachD.pdf

02:52 PM -- Presentation of Connect for Health Colorado's Annual Report

Sharon O' Hara, Board Chair, Connect for Health Colorado, Steve ErkenBrack, Vice-Chair, Connect for Health Colorado, and Kevin Patterson, CEO, Connect for Health Colorado, presented on the annual update for Connect for Health Colorado, the state exchange for health insurance plans. Ms. O'Hara referenced a copy of the annual report that was provided to the committee (Attachment E). Mr. ErkenBrack gave an overview of Connect for Health Colorado and explained to the committee that it is a pro-market insurance exchange model with a board of directors that includes carriers, consumers, and providers. He explained that the Connect for Health Colorado staff is working on problems identified by the Office of the State Auditor's and the Colorado Health Insurance Exchange Oversight Committee.

160121 AttachE.pdf160121 AttachE.pdf

02:57 PM

Mr. Patterson introduced the annual report to the committee, and noted that the open enrollment period for Connect for Health Colorado has not yet closed. He explained customer demographics and tax credits offered through Connect for Health Colorado. He talked about customer experience with Connect for Health Colorado, and noted improvements in technology and customer service call response time. Mr. Patterson explained the relationship between brokers and customers and discussed the community-based assistance plan within Connect for Health Colorado.

03:02 PM

Mr. Patterson responded to questions from the committee. He explained the hold system for the call center and described the internet tool which allows customers to check whether specific doctors and drugs are covered under various insurance plans. Mr. Patterson explained that the information directories for Connect for Health Colorado are updated with information directly from carriers.

In response to a question, Mr. ErkenBrack discussed the low participation rate in Connect for Health Colorado for the rural counties. Committee members expressed concern over higher medical costs in rural areas of the state. Mr. ErkenBrack explained the cause of higher prices. Mr. Patterson gave more details on the role of the broker in Connect for Health Colorado. In response to a question, Mr. Patterson described the difference between brokers and navigators.

03:17 PM

Members expressed concerns over prescription drug costs and the price of health insurance plans. Mr. ErkenBrack discussed cost effective measures in health care, and the importance of preventative and integrated care.

03:26 PM

Mr. Patterson discussed the 2016-17 budget for Connect for Health Colorado.
Mr Patterson explained the implications should some carriers opt not to continue to offer plans through Connect for Health Colorado next year. In response to a question, Mr. Patterson gave an update on the issue of federal reimbursement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for Connect for Health Colorado.

03:34 PM

Members discussed rising health insurance deductibles and premiums. Mr. ErkenBrack reiterated that health care costs in the state have risen because of mandates in 2014 and 2016, and he noted that the increase in price should not be as severe in the future.

03:39 PM

Member expressed concern over constituents reporting the cancellation of health insurance plans. Mr. Patterson noted that the exchange does not track specific information about the cancellations of insurance plans. Mr. ErkenBrack explained the different options available to consumers after they have received a cancellation or notice from an insurance company.

03:46 PM

Mr. Patterson clarified the non-federal revenues in the Connect for Health Colorado budget, in response to a question. He stated that broker fees are not included in the Connect for Health Colorado budget.

03:49 PM

Mr. Patterson clarified enrollment numbers and plan choices and gave concluding remarks.

03:52 PM

Representative McCann adjourned the meeting.