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6689E3B600C56A32872584F6007DF171 Hearing Summary


Date Jan 21, 2020      
Location Old State Library

SMART Government Act Briefing for the Department of Human Services - Committee Discussion Only

03:55:40 PM  

Michelle Barnes, Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), presented for their SMART Act hearing and distributed a handout (Attachment E). Ms. Barnes presented the mission and vision of CDHS, and described the budget request for the various offices within CDHS. Ms. Barnes discussed the eight pieces of legislation that CDHS is working on this legislative session. She described five pieces of legislation in detail.

04:06:51 PM  

Dr. Robert Werthwein, CDHS, discussed the role of the Office of Behavioral Health (OBH). Mr. Werthwein discussed two main goals of OBH: completing the blueprint to reform the behavioral health system and expanding the capacity for medication assisted treatment (MAT). 

04:09:19 PM  

Mr. Werthwein presented a map on showing locations where MAT is available by county. He discussed OBH's initiative to increase the number of jails capable of delivering MAT. Mr. Werthwein discussed the goal of reducing the waitlist for inpatient restoration treatment through two strategies: reducing inpatient restoration length of stay and increasing referrals to community-based restoration treatment. He discussed the four routes for restoration. He discussed the department's fines for exceeding the timely access to restoration time frame. Mr. Werthwein discussed the four statutory required updates CDHS is required to provide. The statutory updates are related to substance use disorder services, the behavioral health crisis response system, the community transition specialist program, and medication consistency program.

04:21:40 PM  

Dr. Werthwein responded to questions from the committee.

04:24:35 PM  

Minna Castillo Cohen, CDHS, discussed the number of children receiving child welfare services in their home. Ms. Castillo Cohen discussed the WIG of decreasing the average daily out-of-home population. She stated that Colorado has the lowest number of children living in congregate care than ever before. Ms. Castillo Cohen discussed the Family First Initiative which seeks to strengthen and preserve families and place children in the least restrictive, most family-like setting. She discussed how Family First was implemented and the timeline of its implementation in Colorado. Ms. Castillo Cohen discussed the WIG from 2018 of reducing the use of seclusion in their centers, and Colorado's success in meeting this goal.

04:36:26 PM  

Ms. Castillo Cohen presented on the statutory required updates on the Child Welfare Hotline and the Colorado State Youth Development Plan. Ms. Castillo Cohen responded to questions from the committee about the breakdown of the Lookout Mountain facility into separate small youth centers.

04:42:12 PM  

Yolanda Webb, CDHS, described the services offered through the Office of Community Access and Independence (OCAI). She described those served by their office. She described CDHS' goal of ensuring Coloradans served in the OCAI programs are safe and receive the services of their choice in a timely manner. She discussed the goals of decreasing examiner processing time in the disability determination services, increasing the transition goals met in the month at the Division of Regional Center Operations, and reducing the fall rate at the Veterans Community Living Centers. Ms. Webb provided the statutory update on the respite care task force and the long-term care ombudsman program. Ms. Webb responded to questions from the committee about the Veterans Community Living Center at Fitzsimons and the types of complaints received about the facility.

04:52:10 PM  

Mary Anne Snyder, CDHS, discussed the creation of the Office of Early Childhood.  She discussed CDHS' goal of increasing the number of children and families who are ready for school when entering kindergarten. She discussed the following ways the office is focusing on accomplishing that goal: increasing the number of high quality providers, increasing course completions in professional development information system for child care providers in rural communities, and completing the preschool development grant needs assessment and statewide strategic plan to identify the gaps in family support services statewide.

04:59:57 PM  

Dr. Ki'i Powell, Director, CDHS, presented. She discussed the goal of improving the economic security of Coloradans by increasing the number of people served by Colorado Works who entered employment, and increasing outreach partners for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program applications. She provided an update on the timeliness of processing benefits related to a class action lawsuit the division was involved in.