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2019 Legislative Update

By Riley Stanton, CAFP Communications and Marketing Intern

It was a productive 2019 legislative session, with 462 new bills passed into law. Three of these bills passed into law were CAFP-led. This legislation will invest more money into primary care, offer communication and resolution programs for patients and physicians when an unexpected health outcome occurs, and extend the personal income tax credit for rural preceptors.

Increasing Investments in Primary Care HB-1233 passed after a 3-year endeavor to gain state support to completely fund primary care. In addition to accelerating payment reform, the Division of Insurance and Medicaid will establish targets for insurers’ investments in primary care. The Primary Care Payment Reform Collaborative established by the bill will make recommendations on appropriate investment targets. As members of this collaborative, CAFP believes the amount invested in primary care should double from the current 7% up to at least 15% of the healthcare dollar. This increased funding will better support the PCMH, care coordination, integrated behavioral health, and other infrastructure needed to sustain advanced primary care practices.

CAFP and COPIC approached the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA) to form a unique partnership that established a communication and resolution program for unexpected health outcomes. The Candor Act SB-201, the second law of its kind in the U.S., passed unanimously. Designed to benefit patients, their families, clinicians, and health care systems by formalizing the communication and resolution process, the Candor Act provides the framework for health professionals to offer compassionate, honest, timely and thorough responses following unexpected health care events.

Rural Preceptor Tax Credit Extension HB-1088. CAFP worked with the Colorado Rural Health Center to extend the $1,000 tax credit by three years for rural preceptors who train medical students. This tax credit supports rural primary care physician training and aims to increase the number of medical students who eventually practice in a rural setting.

We could not have achieved this level of success without the support of the 148 dedicated members who acted on behalf of CAFP this year. Our members sent 232 letters to legislators, and 6 members testified on behalf of 7 different bills, which were all signed into law. We would also like to extend our gratitude to the 50 physicians who served as Doctor of the Day this legislative session. With your help, we will continue our work to improve primary care across the state for years to come.

To see more of the legislative session by the numbers, see our 2019 advocacy wrap-up infographic.