Date: 02/05/2009

BILL SUMMARY for HB09-1111


Votes: View--> Action Taken:

01:33 PM -- House Bill 09-1111

Representative Massey introduced House Bill 09-1111 which creates the Primary Care Office within the Department of Public Health and Environment (DPHE) to access and address unmet health care needs across the state. Representative Massey spoke to the duties of the new office. He explained that the loan repayment program is currently administered by Collegeinvest in the Department of Higher Education. He stated that the bill would move those responsibilities to the DPHE.

01:40 PM --
Dr. Ned Calonge, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Public Health and Environment, testified in support of the bill. He stated that the Primary Care Office is a federally funded program designed to help the state help itself. He stated that the bill allows the department to charge fees on the Conrad 30 J-1 Visas. The bill also recruits health care providers to practice in rural communities. Dr. Calonge stated that the Department of Higher Education is amenable to having DPHE take over the responsibilities of administering the program. He stated that the return on investment is worth the expenditure. Dr. Calonge spoke to the credentials of foreign-trained physicians. There was some discussion regarding the request for a 1.5 FTE.

01:55 PM --
Terri Hurst, Policy Analyst, Colorado Rural Health Center, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Hurst provided her written testimony to the committee (Attachment A). Ms. Hurst spoke to Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) designations. She stated that these health centers do not solely rely on Medicaid payments. She explained that a HPSA designation allows any physician practicing in a designated HPSA area to receive a 10 percent bump in Medicare reimbursement. She stated that it is because of the enhanced reimbursement feature of the HPSA designation that rural community health centers are able to survive.


01:59 PM --
Ross Brooks, Colorado Community Health Network, testified in support of the bill.

02:02 PM --
Stephen Kopanos, Mental Health America of Colorado, testified in support of the bill. He asked the committee to add an advocacy position for mental health to the Primary Care Office.

02:06 PM --
Lorez Meinhold and Regina Kilkenny, Colorado Health Foundation, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Meinfold provided a journal titled "Health Elevations," to the committee. The journal has several articles which highlight the need for physicians in rural communities and ways to address the shortages (Attachment B). A map on the HPSA designated areas was provided to the committee (Attachment C).

(Attachment B can be viewed at State Archives) 09HouseHHS0205AttachC.pdf

02:12 PM

The committee took a brief recess.