2020-21 Legislative Update

House Bill 1227: This bill requires the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to develop, analyze and enforce a “demonstration of need” for each new nursing facility provider seeking Medicaid certification in Colorado.  Colorado has had a Medicaid bed moratorium for quite some time.  However, that moratorium was seen as inconsistent and largely ineffective.  This bill will require the Department to develop a set of formal criteria through regulation that will determine the distribution of new Medicaid beds moving forward.  The bill also allows the Department to establish a process to exempt nursing facilities with 5 or fewer Medicaid beds from the current Medicaid nursing home reimbursement methodology.  This will allow the Department to grant up to 5 beds to non-Medicaid nursing homes for the purpose of continuity of care.  The Department will need to develop specific regulations to administer this new authority, but Department officials have said that they intend to use it in instances where a private pay individual spends through their resources and where the facility is willing to allow them to remain in residence and be reimbursed the statewide average Medicaid rate.

Senate Bill 128: This bill transitions authority of the Nursing Home Innovations Grant Board (NHIGB) from HCPF to CDPHE.  The NHIGB disperses funds generated form Civil Money Penalties through grants to providers and the fund is used for the department to respond to emergency situations (such as facility closure).  This bill streamlines the process for CDPHE to access funds in emergent situations.  The bill also allows the state to claim administrative funds to more completely oversee the review, approval and payment of these grants.  This change should make the process more visible and simple for applicants, and should improve the timeliness and responsiveness of the overall program.  Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the bill requires that administrative expenditures form the fund must be used (among other things) to “Improve nursing facility innovation and quality with the goal of reducing future fines”.

House Bill 1286: The bill requires owners of buildings of 50,000 SQFT or larger on an annual basis, to collect and report to the Colorado energy office the covered building’s energy use. The bill establishes a process requiring certain electric and gas utilities to provide energy-use data to a covered building owner when requested by the covered building owner. On or before June 1, 2027, a covered building owner must be able to demonstrate that, in 2026, the covered building met performance standards set forth in the bill. A covered building owner must demonstrate compliance with the performance standards every 5 years after June 1, 2027. A state task force consisting of various building owners, building professionals, utility representatives, and local government representatives is authorized to recommend modifications of the performance standards for adoption as rules by the air quality control commission (commission), which is required to adopt rules in 2026 or 2027 that extend or modify the performance standards and waivers and extensions of time related to the performance standards . After 2027, large building owners that fail to meet energy efficiency benchmarks can be subject to fines of $500-$2,000.

CHCA is working with the bill sponsor, state office and outside entities to determine the resources that are available to building operators to help become compliance with this new law.  An update will be provided to members when these resources have been gathered and researched.