Governor Hickenlooper Signs Bill to Implement Medicaid Delivery and Payment Initiatives


May 23, 2017

Media Contact:
Marc Williams

Denver, CO - Today Governor Hickenlooper signed HB 17-1353, Implement Medicaid Delivery & Payment Initiatives, into law.  The bill creates a statutory framework for the Accountable Care Collaborative, the delivery system for Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program), and authorizes performance based provider payments. 

“Colorado’s Accountable Care Collaborative is making wiser use of resources and is improving health outcomes for the members we serve,” said Susan E. Birch, MBA, BSN, RN executive director for the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. “The Accountable Care Collaborative is Colorado’s approach to managed care and has been our platform for innovation.  We have seen promising results with increases in prenatal care, and reductions in costly ER utilization, high cost imaging and inpatient admissions. On a number of measurable clinical indicators there are improvements the longer people are enrolled in the Accountable Care Collaborative.

Performance based payments are a smarter use of our dollars; driving improved quality will ultimately improve the health of Coloradans.

We look forward to continuing to work with our providers, community partners and the General Assembly to move Colorado forward by focusing on initiatives that create higher value in the Medicaid program leading to better health outcomes for our members.”   

The Accountable Care Collaborative provides the structure for:

  • A focal point of care or medical home for all members,
  • Coordinated medical and non-medical care and services,
  • Improved member and provider experiences, and
  • Data to support these goals, analyze progress, and move the program forward.

Two independently-funded, external evaluations found the program increased the value of Medicaid services by reducing spending while keeping quality and access to care consistent.  The external evaluations found providers have a positive view of the program and support the program’s direction as do members.  

A recent study by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) compared the performance of the Medicaid delivery systems in Oregon and Colorado.  The study found that while expenditures for selected services declined in both states, Colorado’s approach did so without a large investment from the federal government.

Work on the Accountable Care Collaborative began when the Colorado General Assembly approved an initial budget action in 2009.  The Accountable Care Collaborative program began enrolling members in the spring of 2011 and has now grown to over 1 million members in 670 primary care practices. 

HB 17-1353 continues the implementation of the Accountable Care Collaborative and authorizes performance-based provider payments.  The bill was sponsored by the Joint Budget Committee with Representative Young  (D - Greeley) and Senator Lundberg (R – Berthoud) as lead sponsors. 

For more information about the Accountable Care Collaborative visit

About the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing: The Department administers Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid Program) and Child Health Plan Plus as well as a variety of other programs for Coloradans who qualify. For more information about the Department, please visit