Colorado worked with a diverse group of stakeholders to advance the vision of high-quality, affordable care for all. With the passage of the federal health care reform act, we gained another tool in the toolbox to ensure our progress continues. And because of some innovative statewide initiatives, Colorado is in a good position to integrate (and benefit from) federal reform.
The recently released report, “Implementing Health Care Reform: A Roadmap for Colorado,” provides an assessment of the progress made and the work that lies ahead as the state and its partners address implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
As state budget issues grow more challenging, we cannot rest on past achievements. Rather, we must explore more innovative ways to redesign care and payment reform while encouraging the cultural transformation that will help drive these changes. We have the opportunity for Colorado to deliver better value for each health care dollar, to foster a culture of health and to expand access to affordable health care.
Health reform calls for the development of health insurance exchanges. The exchanges are designed to build a more organized and competitive market for health insurance. This will be accomplished by offering a choice of plans and providing information to help consumers and businesses clearly understand the options available to them.
The Governor’s Office just released a report, "Stakeholder Perspectives," that outlines the most consistent viewpoints shared during statewide community forums. Each forum was attended by a wide variety of stakeholder groups including health underwriters, health plans, consumer groups, advocates, provider groups, business representatives, elected officials and members of the general public.
This perspective will help address the governance issues of a state-based exchange as we begin the process of drafting legislation. It will also provide the appropriate guidance and authority to set up and operate the exchange in a manner most beneficial to Coloradans and state businesses involved in the purchase of health insurance.
In addition, the state received a federal grant of almost $1 million to conduct an economic modeling and actuarial analysis. The analysis will help determine the feasibility of state-based exchanges. It also will provide a tool for engaging stakeholders in the process of establishing exchanges in Colorado. Joan Henneberry, former director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, will serve as the project director for this grant.
There is still much work ahead of us to transform care, and Colorado continues to advance important building blocks to get the job done.
What are Colorado’s opportunities and challenges in implementing health care reform? Post your feedback in the comment box below.