Colorado ADAPT demands Governor Hickenlooper and CMS move to apply for the Community First Choice Option
(DENVER, January 13, 2012) Colorado ADAPT visited the Colorado Governor’s office and demanded Gov. Hickenlooper order the Department of Health Care Policy and Finance to begin now to work on getting the federal enhancement for the Community First Choice Option. ADAPT also went to the local Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) office to demand Jeff Hinson urge the federal agency to complete the final regulations that will allow Colorado to apply for Medicaid enhanced funding.
Contacting him in route to the CMS Baltimore office, Jeff Hinson agreed to give the message to Marilyn Tavenner the CMS Administrator today and the Governor, who was out of town, will be responding to ADAPT next Tuesday at 3:30, after speaking with the department over the holiday weekend.
“I promise you that I will stop by her office today and tell her,” said Mr. Hinson on the phone with Colorado ADAPT from Maryland, “and send her a note if she is not in.”
In Denver, Colorado ADAPT continued to meet with the CMS Regional Administrator about what they could do to ensure that the Community First Choice (CFC) Option did not miss Colorado. States that apply for the “enhanced match” will get more federal Medicaid funding. The Community First Choice Option is a program that was developed to help states reduce Medicaid spending by allowing citizens to choose to live or remain in their own home or the community rather than expensive institutions and nursing homes.
“Richard, you know we have never come to the department asking for money,” said Dawn Russell of ADAPT to the Associate Regional Administrator, Richard Allen; “we haven’t come to rob your bank, ADAPT always brings money and savings to the table.”
CFC is part of the Affordable Care Act and although some states like New York have already applied for the expanded funding, most states like Colorado are waiting for a final version of the CFC regulations before putting in their applications. ADAPT is asking the governor to start now and direct HCPF to begin to develop the implantation council that is part of the CFC regulations, and to prepare to apply for the funds when the final regulations are published.
“We saw what happened in 2006 when our state failed to apply for the Money Follows the Person grant,” said Dawn Russell. “Not only did we miss out on millions of federal dollars, but our state lagged behind in building the infrastructure to save millions. It wasn’t until last year that the feds opened the program again and Colorado got $22 million. We are asking the governor to be proactive and create the implementation council. Colorado cannot afford to watch HCPF fail to apply again.”
ADAPT is also demanding that Jeff Hinson contact Marilyn Tavenner the new Administrator of CMS to get the CFC regulations finalized and to meet with ADAPT. The regulations were originally scheduled to be completed last October.