Governor Signs Nursing Home Penalty Cash Fund Bill

Funds innovation and quality of life improvements at nursing facilities

SB19-254 Bill Signing May 29, 2019


May 29, 2019

Media Contact:
Marc Williams

Denver, CO – Today Governor Jared Polis signed SB19-254 into law. This bill will free up already-existing money for nursing home innovation grants to improve the quality of life for nursing facility residents through changes to current expenditure limits of the Nursing Home Penalty Cash Fund.

The Nursing Home Penalty Cash Fund consists of money collected from fines levied on nursing facilities. State and federal law require these monies be used for emergency reserves if a facility closes and for innovation grants to improve quality of life and care at nursing facilities. Current statute requires an emergency reserve of $1 million and limits the amount available for nursing home innovation grants to $250K. SB19-254 removes these caps and sets parameters for the establishment of a new minimum reserve. It allows the Department to award nursing home innovation grants as long as the new reserve amount is maintained. It will also help prevent loss of funds. Without this bill, the federal government could take back funds above the current $1 million reserve amount that are not reinvested in nursing facilities.

“This bill creates opportunities to improve the quality of life for Coloradans in nursing facilities while maintaining the solvency of reserve funds,” said Executive Director Kim Bimestefer. “It fosters and rewards innovation while maintaining fiscal responsibility. The Nursing Home Penalty Cash Fund has grown substantially over the years; this bill will let us put these increased funds to good use.”  

This bill has no fiscal impact and does not change the purpose of the Nursing Home Penalty Cash Fund. It passed with strong bipartisan support and was sponsored by Representative Kim Ransom and Senator Rachel Zenzinger. 

About the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and 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