5 Top Bills of Interest in 2016

Molly PereiraFeatured News


April 19, 2016

The 2016 Colorado legislative season is nearing its end, and the CDA is active at the Capitol advocating on behalf of you—our members. Here are five top bills of interest to those in organized dentistry, along with a bonus budget update.

This bill, sponsored by state Rep. Joann Ginal and state Sen. Kevin Grantham, would correct a technical oversight in the 2014 Sunset Review of the Dental Practice Act and clarify that dentists and dental hygienists with inactive or retired licenses do not have to carry an active liability insurance policy.
Status: The bill passed the House and the Senate and is awaiting Gov. John Hickenlooper’s signature.
This bill, sponsored by state Senator Grantham and state Rep. Dianne Primavera, revised fee-sharing language in the Dental Practice Act to allow dentists to pay for practice management services. The bill originally borrowed language from the Medical Practice Act that was rather difficult to understand. The CDA proposed revisions to make the language more straightforward and ensure that payments for services would not create any undue interference with a dentist’s independent professional judgment.
Status: Gov. Hickenlooper signed the bill into law.
This bill, sponsored by state Sen. Jack Tate, state Rep. Jovan Melton and state Rep. Lang Sias, would allow Medicaid patients to choose to use non-Medicaid providers and pay out-of-pocket for services. The bill would remove current penalties for non-Medicaid providers who bill consenting Medicaid patients for services provided.
Status: The bill passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee amended and is awaiting hearing by the full Senate.
This bill, sponsored by state Rep. Perry Buck, state Representative Ginal, state Sen. Larry Crowder and state Sen. John Cooke, would allow state income tax credits of up to $1,000 for healthcare professionals in rural or frontier areas who precept students serving four-week aggregate rotations. No more than 200 preceptors may claim the tax credit in a single tax year.
Status: The bill passed the House Public Health Care and Human Services Committee amended and the House Finance Committee amended. It is awaiting hearing in the House Appropriations Committee.
This bill, sponsored by state Rep. Kit Roupe, would have created a tax incentive in 2016, 2017 and 2018 for healthcare providers who were not reimbursed the full cost of services provided to Medicaid patients. A healthcare provider would be eligible to claim 50% of the difference between the Medicaid fee schedule and either the Medicare fee schedule or a Colorado-specific schedule that identifies the average usual and customary rate (UCR) for procedures. The bill required the state to calculate the dollar value difference between Medicaid rates and UCR, which highlights the substantial financial loss providers are asked to incur for participating as a Medicaid provider. The bill was not expected to pass, given its very large fiscal note, but it generated good conversation about the need for sustainability in Medicaid rates – whether through direct adjustments in payment rates or other creative provider incentives.
Status: The bill died in the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.
State Budget
Colorado legislators passed the 2016-2017 fiscal year budget. The CDA helped prevent any Medicaid rate cuts for dentists and preserve the adult dental benefit in the midst of difficult budget negotiations. The CDA more than quadrupled the amount of funding available for dental loan forgiveness candidates from $200,000 to $875,000 through the 2016 state budget process.