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BE ALERT: Medicaid Text and Phone Scams

Scammers are targeting Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) members through text messages and phone calls. They are telling members they must pay to keep or renew their health coverage.

Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) never asks members or applicants for money, bank account or credit card information, social security numbers, or any other financial information through text or over the phone. Please help us spread the word and report any suspected scam activity to the Attorney General Consumer Protection Unit.

Legislative News

SB 23-289 – Community First Choice

The Joint Budget Committee introduced and is running this bill authorizing the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) to apply to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to implement Community First Choice (CFC).  PASCO, AOI, and ADAPT have worked on getting CFC designed and authorized for over 10 years.

Many thanks go to Senator Rachel Zenzinger (D) from Arvada, who has championed CFC since we first discussed it with her in 2019.  The bill is still being considered in the Colorado Senate with consideration in the House to follow.  We anticipate the bill will pass easily and we will finally be on track to implement CFC.

CFC significantly changes how long-term services and supports can be provided for eligible Medicaid clients.  Eligible Medicaid clients may receive their services through the state’s two Consumer Directed service delivery options; In Home Support Services (IHSS) and Consumer Directed Attendant Services and Supports (CDASS).  The target date for implementation is July 1, 2025, once approved by CMS. Services under CFC do not require a CNA, LPN, or RN license and require only supervision as agreed to with the consumer or under company policy.  It also no longer requires a person to be on particular waivers because it will become part of the standard Medicaid state plan services.  Waiver service eligibility will be maintained (for those people who need to be on a waiver to financially qualify for Medicaid) with a monthly disability-related article that is geared toward individual consumer needs.

SB 23-261 – Direct Care Workforce Stabilization Board

This bill seeks to establish a Board in the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to make recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature on ideas to stabilize the direct care workforce.  The home care association, PASCO, and ADAPT have proposed several amendments that were adopted in the version that passed the Colorado Senate.  The bill still must be heard in the Colorado House.

Our concern and goal is to protect the privacy of our employees and offer opportunities for our employees, families, and stakeholders to be heard by this board.  For example, this board may make a recommendation that would require PASCO and all direct care employers to release the names and contact information of all employees providing direct care.  We are wary that such a recommendation could lead to consequences for direct care workers who have protection orders in place and a public list could lead to solicitations from predatory lenders and other intrusive parties. We will continue to monitor this bill and suggest amendments.

The Legislature adjourns on May 8, 2023 so things are moving quickly there.