Colorado Foundations Partner with State to Support Providers
Innovative Public-Private Partnership will Help Support Safety Net Health Providers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 29, 2020
Denver, CO – Today the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (Department) announced the distribution of nearly $600,000 in advanced payments to primary care providers known to have experienced revenue loss as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The advanced payments were made possible through donations of $1.925 million from a unique partnership with the Colorado Health Foundation, Caring for Colorado Foundation, Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation, Rocky Mountain Health Foundation and Rose Community Foundation. The state is able to draw down federal matching funds bringing the total funds to $3.63 million. A second round of payments is planned prior to the end of the Public Health Emergency in January. These payments protect practices that rapidly shifted to telemedicine – which while protecting Medicaid members – caused practices to suffer financial losses. These providers will have more cash on hand as the public health emergency continues to impact their day to day operations.
“The pandemic has created many unique challenges and has strengthened our commitment to improving access to quality care, lowering the cost of health care, and cutting red tape. I commend the State’s partners for their collaboration and contributions that made this distribution possible,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We will get through this challenging time together.”
Eligibility for these advanced payments was limited to Health First Colorado-enrolled primary care physicians (PCPs) that also provide behavioral health services and/or dental care. The Department has worked for more than twenty years to increase access to behavioral health and dental services through integrating services into primary care settings. Payments were made to 14 diverse practices statewide including small Federally Qualified Health Center sites, pediatric practices, a sole proprietor and several rural practices. The lump-sum payments were based on these practices’ 2019 pre-COVID monthly revenue for a 90-day period.
The purpose of these payments is to help stabilize Colorado’s existing safety-net by targeting PCPs that have experienced revenue loss as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency and to preserve critical infrastructure and access to care for members. Innovative public-private partnerships like this are critical to supporting essential health care infrastructure, especially as we enter flu season.
“Our Department truly appreciates our provider partners who are working hard to serve our members during the COVID19 pandemic and the economic downturn.” said Kim Bimestefer, executive director for the Department. “We are also very grateful to our foundation partners who stepped-up to help during this difficult financial chapter. The collaborative efforts are inspiring as we join together to find new and creative ways to support communities in need.”
“Coloradans widely report that the pandemic has a negative effect on their mental and physical health,” said Khanh Nguyen, senior program officer at The Colorado Health Foundation. “Timely access to care is more important now than ever. This innovative program will not only help support safety net health providers, but it also ultimately helps individuals and families who need it the most. It increases access to primary care for vulnerable Coloradans, by expanding clinic capacity and focusing on services that are desperately needed right now. Every person in our state should have what they need to be healthy within their reach, and all of our foundations are grateful for this public-private partnership to keep critical health care services open in communities across the state.”
Providers Receiving Advanced Payments
Get more information about the partnership with foundations and the advanced payments to primary care providers.
About the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing: The Department administers Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program), Child Health Plan Plus, and other programs for Coloradans who qualify. For more information about the Department, please visit Colorado.gov/hcpf.