Rural Sustainability Payment Rule Comment Opportunity:
The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, along with the Lt Governor's Office of eHealth Innovation, is writing the Rural Sustainability Payment into Department rule. The comment period is now open, and the Rural Sustainability Payment Rule Comment can be viewed here.
Please provide your comments on the draft rule by replying to this email or emailing John Kennedy by Monday, September 11, 2023.
The AHRQ Safety Program for Telemedicine is recruiting ambulatory and primary care facilities, including OB/GYNs, to participate in the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Safety Program for Telemedicine: Improving the Diagnostic Process, a free 12-month program that seeks to improve the cancer diagnostic process, specifically closing the loop to improve diagnostic verification, timeliness, and communication with the patient. The deadline to apply is August 23, 2023. Learn more information here.
Office of Saving People Money on Healthcare:
The Request for Applications (RFA) for the new statewide Digital Navigator Program, funded by SB 22-140 and Serve Colorado, is available here.
There is an information session on July 10 (register here). Concept papers are due August 4, 2023 at 5 pm, and organizations with approved concept papers will have until September 11, 2023 to prepare the full application and budget (with technical assistance from Serve Colorado and CDLE Office of the Future of Work).
If you would like to talk with the Digital Equity Team at CDLE OFW, please participate in one of their weekly Q&A sessions on Fridays at 12 pm, or request a presentation on this initiative to your team using this calendar link. For more information, visit the Office of Future of Work's website or reach out directly to Jessie Hawthorn.
Press Release: Lt. Governor Primavera Announces New Tool to Assist Blind and Low-Vision Coloradans Navigate State Locations and Digital Services
DENVER - Today, Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera announced the Polis-Primavera administration is now offering a digital tool to help people access state services in real time. Aira provides Coloradans who are blind or have low vision access to live visual interpreters at no cost for up to 30 minutes per session when navigating state-operated locations and digital services. The goal of this program is to allow Coloradans to more easily access government services independently.
“Creating a Colorado for all means ensuring everyone can access essential services comfortably and independently,” said Lt. Gov. Primavera. “We’re on a mission at the state to deliver innovative, flexible options so all Coloradans can confidently take advantage of the state’s programs and benefits.”
Aira is a live, human-to-human service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Using the camera on a smartphone or computer, secure live video is streamed to a professionally-trained agent who visually interprets what is shared. Watch Lt. Gov. Primavera explain how Aira can help Coloradans access state services in this video.
“In the State of Colorado, we are driven every day to make government easy, as laid out in our Digital Government Strategic Plan,” said Anthony Neal-Graves, Chief Information Officer and Executive Director at the Governor’s Office of Information Technology (OIT). “The Aira service is another step forward in reducing barriers to state services through digital solutions, which brings us closer to creating a truly equitable, inclusive customer experience for all Coloradans.”
The new offering is an extension of the state’s efforts to be fully welcoming and accessible to all. Coloradans will be able to get assistance navigating locations and interpreting otherwise inaccessible documentation through free calls with Aira agents up to 30 minutes per session at locations such as DMV centers, state parks, colleges and state workforce centers.
“I have used Aira for six years, both in my personal life and as a state employee,” said Theresa Montano, Senior Accessibility Solutions Architect at OIT. “With the help of their agents, I have been able to deliver strategy plans and review project plans and progress charts that once were impossible without the help of a sighted teammate. Knowing Aira is always available has relieved stress in completing my work and has been invaluable since we began working remotely. I am thrilled that we will be able to help blind and low-vision Coloradans gain that same sense of relief when they interact with the state, knowing Aira is always there.”
Learn more about how to access and use Aira at oit.colorado.gov/
Media interviews are available upon request. Please contact Brandi Simmons at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Press Release: Colorado Awarded Digital Equity State Planning Grant
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s (CDLE) Office of the Future of Work (OFOW) has been awarded $897,119.02 to create Colorado’s Digital Equity Plan. The office applied in collaboration with the Office of eHealth Innovation (OeHI) located in the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, and the Office of Information Technology for the grant funding through the Digital Equity (DE) Act, a component of the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was signed into law last November.
“Digital access impacts a person’s ability to acquire housing, jobs, education, telehealth, food, family support, and many other social influencers of health, making it all the more important to work across sectors to address the digital divide in our state,” said Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera. “The Digital Equity Planning Grant will bring together stakeholders from across sectors, and I am thrilled to see the Office of eHealth Innovation and the Office of the Future of Work leading this effort.”
“Too many Coloradans remain disconnected, preventing them from participating fully in their communities and economy,” said Katherine Keegan, director of the OFOW. “This Planning Grant funding allows the Office of the Future of Work to build a comprehensive, innovative, and sustainable digital equity state plan that will reach historically marginalized folks across our state."
OFOW and OeHI will work together to engage community-based organizations, lived experts, and state agency partners in:
- planning efforts for the grant
- collecting and analyzing data on the digital divide and its impacts on marginalized Coloradan communities
- and developing, publishing, and disseminating a written plan before 2024.
This funding will also support the Digital Navigator Program efforts the OFOW is spearheading.
For more information and ongoing updates on these efforts, please visit the Office of the Future of Work website. To get involved in the planning efforts, fill out this interest form.
OeHI is seeking stakeholder input as it updates the Health Information Technology (IT) Roadmap. The eHealth Commission and OeHI are refreshing the 2021 Health IT Roadmap in partnership with the Colorado Health Institute. More information regarding the various opportunities to engage in the full press release here.
HB21-1289 Funding for Broadband Deployment Signed into Law
HB21-1289, sponsored by Rep. Chris Kennedy, Rep. Mark Baisley, Sen. Jeff Bridges, and Sen. Kevin Priola, was signed into law on June 29, 2021. This legislation will provide $10 million in grant funding to telehealth providers. OeHI will be working with the Colorado Broadband Office to design the program to distribute and implement these devices. Stay tuned for more information about those grant opportunities!
SB21-60 Expand Broadband Service Signed into Law
SB21-60, sponsored by Sen. Kerry Donovan (D-SD5) and Rep. Dylan Roberts (D-HD26), was signed into law by the Governor on June 27, 2021. This bill will increase broadband access to low income communities and households by creating a $600 low-income broadband reimbursement program.
On November 30th the National Governors Association (NGA) published a paper on the future of state telehealth policy. The paper summarizes the types of telehealth policy flexibilities provided by states and the federal government during the COVID-19 pandemic and longer-term considerations for Governors regarding the impact of such policies on care delivery and payment with the goal of helping policymakers assess the appropriateness of policy permanence beyond the pandemic. Refer to page 17 in the document to read about Colorado's COVID-19 emergency funding from CMS and how it was used to support EMS connections and connect Medicaid providers through a telehealth platform.
Now more than ever we’re seeing that access to high-speed, quality broadband is essential to going about our daily lives during a global pandemic. This week Colorado received a $6 million USDA grant that will expand northwestern Colorado's rural broadband access allowing for more folks in rural communities to telecommute and access telemedicine. Read the entire press release here.
The Office of eHealth Innovation (OeHI) and eHealth Commission have reviewed Colorado Health Care Policy and Finance's proposed quality measures for the Hospital Transformation Program and provided recommendations as part of Colorado's Health IT Roadmap- Ease Quality Reporting Burden Initiative. Click here to view submitted comments.
The Federal Communications Commission proposed $100 million in federal funds to be released to offset broadband and equipment for telehealth and telemedicine for providers and individuals in rural communities with lower income, veterans, and tribal communities. Read the comments here.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved up to $64 million in federal funds to advance the state's health IT infrastructure and tools. Read the press release here.
Colorado was recently awarded Track 2 of the National Governor's Association Technical Assistance Program: Harnessing the Power of Data to Achieve State Policy Goals. This initiative will highlight data best practices in policy making, addressing data governance, cross-sector data sharing, and system capabilities to enhance data informed policy and capacity building across state agencies.
OeHI, in partnership with the Colorado Health Information and Management Systems Society (CHIMSS) and the Colorado Health Information Management Association (CHIMA) hosted a Colorado Health IT Roadmap Launch Party with over 150 health IT fanatics in attendance, including Mr. Hal Wolf, national president of HIMSS.