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Improving Perinatal Health Outcomes

Concerning measures to improve perinatal health outcomes, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
2024 Regular Session
Health Care & Health Insurance
Public Health
Bill Summary

The act requires health benefit plans to provide coverage for doula services in the same scope and duration of coverage for doula services that will be included in the department of health care policy and financing's request for federal authorization of doula services (request) under the "Colorado Medical Assistance Act" (medical assistance program). Doulas providing services must meet the same qualifications for and submit to the same regulation as individuals providing doula services as recommended under the medical assistance program.

Coverage for doula services will be implemented for large employer health benefit plans issued or renewed in this state on and after July 1, 2025, or 12 months after submission of the request, whichever is later. For small group and individual plans, doula services will be implemented if the division of insurance and the federal department of health and human services determine that the benefit does not require state defrayal of the cost of the benefit or the division of insurance determines defrayal is not required and the federal department fails to respond to the division's request for confirmation of the determination within 365 days after the request is made.

The act authorizes the department of public health and environment (department) to partner with the designated state perinatal care quality collaborative (perinatal quality collaborative) to track the statewide implementation of the recommendations of the Colorado maternal mortality review committee, implement perinatal health quality improvement programs with hospitals that provide labor and delivery or neonatal care services (hospital) to improve infant and maternal health outcomes, and address disparate care outcomes among certain populations and of those living in frontier areas of the state.

No later than July 1, 2025, and no later than July 1 each year thereafter, the act requires hospitals to submit specified data to the perinatal quality collaborative concerning disparities in perinatal health care and health-care outcomes and beginning December 15, 2025, to annually participate in at least one maternal or infant health quality improvement initiative (initiative), as determined by the hospitals. The act authorizes financial support for hospitals in rural and frontier areas of the state, hospitals that serve a higher number of medical assistance patients or uninsured patients, and hospitals with lower-acuity maternal or neonatal levels of care.

The act requires the department to contract with the perinatal quality collaborative to issue an annual report, no later than July 1, 2026, and no later than July 1 each year thereafter, on clinical quality improvements in maternal and infant health outcomes and related data, as well as other information that can be shared with hospitals and health facilities, policymakers, and others and posted on the internet. The act includes protections for the confidentiality of certain data collected or shared under the act.

No later than July 1, 2025, the act requires the medical services board to promulgate rules to include coverage under the medical assistance program of over-the-counter choline dietary supplements for pregnant people and to seek federal approval for the coverage if necessary.

For the 2024-25 state fiscal year, $1,328,652 is appropriated from the general fund to the department, for use by the prevention services division, with the assumption that the division will require 0.9 FTE, to implement the act.

APPROVED by Governor June 5, 2024

EFFECTIVE June 5, 2024
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)


Became Law


Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details