Update by the Colorado Health Institute
HEALTH CARE TASK FORCE
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09:42 AM -- Update by the Colorado Health Institute
Amy Downs, Director for Policy and Research at the Colorado Health Institute, began her presentation related to the Colorado Health Institute's Center for the Study of the Safety Net and the Health Professions Database Project. She distributed a packet of information to the committee (Attachment D). The goal of the Center for the Study of the Safety Net is to provide ongoing and reliable analysis of issues related to health care access for Colorado's population. The scope of the center's work includes: researching insurance coverage; estimating and describing the uninsured; assessing access to care issues; and producing an annual Safety Net Indicators and Monitoring System Report. She described the center's recent publications. Ms. Downs discussed data on the percent of eligible children enrolled in Medicaid and the Children's Basic Health Plan in Colorado. Ms. Downs gave an overview of the Safety Net Indicators and Monitoring System (SNIMS). The goal of the SNIMS is: to build data-driven reporting systems of statewide value; identify, describe, and monitor the ability of Colorado's safety net providers to meet primary health care needs of vulnerable populations; determine what variations exist among Colorado communities in the organization and financing of health care services; and inform policy makers about the changing dynamics of Colorado's safety net system. She described data on the total number of individual patients by type of safety net provider in Colorado in 2007. Community health centers were the largest providers of services in that year, serving over 390,000 patients.
Ms. Downs described the Colorado Household Survey, which is designed to gather data on access to health care and insurance coverage, among other areas. She gave an overview of the data obtained through the survey regarding insurance status. Specifically, the survey gathered data on the duration of uninsurance for people who were uninsured at some point in the prior 12 months, and the uninsured population by age compared to Colorado's total population. Ms. Downs discussed a map showing the proportion of the population lacking health insurance in Colorado's counties.
Ms. Downs gave an overview of the Health Professions Database project at the Colorado Health Institute. The Colorado Health Institute had conducted a number of surveys regarding health professions in Colorado, and she discussed survey information gathered from certified nurse assistants. She discussed the institute's involvement with a task force to study Alzheimer's disease and the long-term care workforce. Ms. Downs responded to questions from Senator Boyd regarding nursing workforce shortages and the lack of nursing training faculty as a contributing factor to the shortage.
The committee recessed briefly.