Representative Young, bill sponsor, introduced HB21-1097. This bill requires the Department of Human Services (DHS) to develop a plan for the creation of the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA), and to establish the BHA with specified duties by July 1, 2022.
Plan to establish the BHA. By November 1, 2021, the DHS must develop a plan for the creation of the BHA, as recommended by the Colorado Behavioral Health Task Force. The plan must include:
Â· recommendations for funding and legislation to implement the plan and the BHA;
Â· a list of state programs that should be managed by the BHA;
Â· the governance structure of the BHA;
Â· potential opportunities for collaboration with local governments;
Â· recommendations on how to deal with grievances, appeals, and ombudsman services for the BHA;
Â· a data integration plan; and
Â· a description of how to ensure the availability of programs and to establish a standard of care.
In addition, several state agencies are tasked with coordinating with the DHS to develop recommendations that align and integrate the BHA with medical assistance programs, private insurance, and prevention and preventive services.
Duties of the BHA. The bill requires that the DHS establish the BHA no later than July 1, 2022, and specifies the duties of the agency, which include:
Â· being the single state agency responsible for state behavioral health programs;
Â· receiving coordinating and distributing behavioral health funding;
Â· monitoring, evaluating, and reporting data on behavioral health outcomes;
Â· promoting a system that supports a whole-person approach; and
Â· promoting culturally responsive and equitable behavioral health care.
In establishing the BHA, the bill requires the DHS to promulgate rules to provide oversight of the agency. Until the BHA is fully operational, the agency is housed in the DHS. The DHS is required to provide recommendations to the General Assembly on the location of the BHA by November 1, 2024. If no decision is made by June 30, 2025, the BHA will remain in the DHS.