2024 Legislative Session Wrap Up

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Throughout the 2024 Legislative Session, the CAFP championed member interests and values at our state capitol. Active CAFP member involvement and input also made a huge difference in how policy was made this year. We had 40 members engaged in our Legislative Committee and 45 members volunteered as Doctor of the Day, covering 52 days of the session. Thank you to all of our members who dedicated your time to advancing family medicine through advocacy, and to elevating the interests of your patients and communities!

Our focus centered on member-identified priorities including reducing unnecessary barriers to necessary care, investing in primary care, increasing healthcare access, and strengthening the healthcare workforce.

Legislative Wins for Family Medicine

Alongside partners in medicine, health policy experts, and patient advocates, CAFP achieved numerous legislative wins on behalf of our members:

Reducing Unnecessary Barriers:

  • CAFP’s flagship bipartisan legislation, HB24-1149 reduces the number of prior authorizations insurance carriers can require. Importantly, prior authorization approval of chronic maintenance medication such as inhalers, blood pressure medication, and more will be extended to three years. Other medication approvals will be extended from 180 days to one year or the length of treatment. This bill also improves transparency around prior authorization criteria and requires notice to physicians about alternatives when a medication or service is denied.
  • Several laws have passed in recent years aimed at improving access to prescription medications including the insulin affordability program and epi-pen program. HB24-1438 makes failure to comply with program requirements a deceptive trade practice for manufacturers and requires pharmacies to share information about these programs with the public.

Investing in Primary Care and the Healthcare Workforce:

  • HB24-1036 increases the rural preceptor tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000 and allows for a preceptor to claim three credits per tax year, a potential total tax credit of $6,000.
  • The state budget included a 2% Medicaid provider rate increase.
  • In an effort to increase the rural healthcare workforce, SB24-221 allocates funds to expand existing rural track programs.

Increasing Access:

  • SB24-168 creates a grant program to support remote monitoring for outpatient clinical services.
  • CAFP supported a number of substance use disorder prevention and treatment measures (SB24-047HB24-1045). HB24-1037 excludes a physician from mandatory reporting requirements for injuries involving the possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia, allowing you to support your patients’ treatment and/or recovery and leaving potential law enforcement involvement to your discretion.
  • HCFP will study the feasibility of providing nutrition, housing, and tenant supportive services for medicaid members (HB24-1322).
  • In an effort to avoid Coloradans going without coverage, SB24-093 allows a Medicaid enrollee whose coverage has ended to continue seeing their care team for a limited amount of time at the in-network level if they meet certain conditions.

Avoiding Legislative Pitfalls

This session saw its share of detrimental legislation introduced and potential unintended consequences. The following outcomes are thanks in large part to CAFP advocacy:

  • CAFP successfully advocated for crucial amendments to a bill (HB24-1153) that originally sought to mandate all physicians complete 12 hours of topic-specific CME on reproductive health each licensure cycle. Amendments to the bill removed the required topics and simply instated a 30 hour general CME minimum every license cycle. Colorado was one of only 4 states that did not have a minimum CME hour requirement for licensing. All CAFP members (board certified physicians) will meet the requirement by maintaining their board certification. The medical board will study whether any specific topic requirements my be warranted. CAFP is pro-education and reproductive healthcare access, however we firmly believe physicians should choose their CME based on individual patient panels, knowledge gaps, clinical updates, and areas of interest.
  • CAFP killed a bill seeking to expand the naturopathic doctor formulary to all legend drugs and, for NDs with a DEA license, to schedules III through V controlled substances, citing patient safety concerns (HB24-1171).
  • A bill seeking to exempt orphan drugs from the authority of the Prescription Drug Affordability Board, SB24-060, was killed.
  • CAFP and other members of the Coloradans Protecting Patient Access coalition reached a compromise with trial lawyers, who were in the process of bringing ballot initiaves to the November election removing peer review confidentiality protections and eliminating medical liability caps. HB24-1472 was that legislative compromise and more information on the specifics of the bill is available on our website.

Other CAFP-Supported Legislation

While there were some fantastic advocacy wins this session, several CAFP-backed bills did not pass. We look forward to being involved with these issues again in future sessions.

  • SB24-054 would have required coverage of diabetes prevention and obesity medications and treatments. The bill failed in the final days due largely to cost concerns and state fiscal implications.
  • HB24-1075 also died on the legislative calendar. It would have directed the Colorado School of Public Health to study a single payer system for Colorado.
  • SB24-022 would have banned the sale of flavored nicotine and tobacco products, which target and contribute to youth nicotine use. 

Our work isn’t possible without input from physicians like you. We’d love to hear from you! Reach out to Emily Bishop, CAFP Director of Communications and Member Engagement, with questions and comments.