Colorado Center for AgingHelp Shape the Change You Want to See
Mission Based Advocacy
Colorado Center for Aging’s advocacy approach is rooted in our four decades of experience as Colorado Senior Lobby where we focused on helping our members and the community at large learn, engage, and make an impact on public policy and resource allocation on behalf of older Coloradans.
Your involvement is a critical piece of our democratic process. We bring together all ages of Colorado citizens. We help create and promote public policy that benefits older Coloradans. Clearly, yesterday’s solutions will not fix tomorrow’s problems – and that includes public policy – we believe that together we can strive to make a difference.
Colorado Center for Aging monitors a large number of Legislative Bills related to aging and to Older Coloradans in general. Our activity intensifies during the General Assembly’s annual January-May session but does not stop when it’s over. The “off season” is a time of plowing the ground, sowing the seeds for the next session. You may review information about active, in-session, legislation that we are closely watching and acting upon by clicking the link below.
This information is discussed during our CCA Advocacy Committee, held virtually on Mondays from 9:30AM to 11:30AM from early in January until the Legislative Session closes in May. Anyone with a strong interest in invited to attend. These meetings continue on a less frequent schedule throughout the rest of the year, with a focus on creating ideas and working with legislators and affinity groups to shape potential advocacy efforts for the following year’s session.
Again, our work never really ends, it just changes shape with the calendar and the scheduling of our educational events.
Current Issues We are Following
SB21-158 – Concerning modifications to the Colorado health service corps program administered by the department of public health and environment to expand the availability of geriatric care providers in shortage areas in the state
WHY THIS BILL IS IMPORTANT:
- Recruiting medical professionals to rural areas is difficult, with only 40% remaining five years.
- Nearly 50% of Coloradans 75 years of age or older live in rural areas of the state, yet only about 10% of geriatric specialists reside in or serve rural areas;
- Under present Medicare funding, there will never be enough trained geriatricians to care for our rapidly aging population!
- By 2030, 22% of the US population will be over age 65; the fastest growing part of the US population is the oldest-old (age 85+), those most in need of geriatric-specific care.
- According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 17% of Americans age 75-84, and 32% of those 85+ suffer from some form of dementia. Colorado is estimated to have 125,000 dementia-afflicted people by 2030, including about 25,000 in rural areas. Geriatrics-trained health care professionals are highly trained to care for those patients and their families/caretakers.
- Advanced Practice Professionals (APPs; Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants) with additional training/experience in geriatrics will be critical to meet the level of care required for our growing aging population.
- This bill, when fully implemented, will provide up to twenty new Geriatric Advanced Practice Professionals over 5 years. An important “multiplier effect” of this plan is that participating APPs will not only deliver direct geriatric care to Colorado’s older adults but also provide seriously needed geriatric education and training sites for future APP trainees to further augment the number of geriatrics-capable APPs.
WHAT THIS BILL WILL DO, IF ENACTED:
- Participants in this Loan Repayment Program (LRP) can receive up to $50,000 in loan repayment by agreeing to work in an underserved area of Colorado for three years, with additional amounts possible after that time.
- This program plans to have up to 20 APPs certified for geriatric training/experience and entered into service after 5-years of continuous funding. The proposed 5-year total is inclusive of all expenses: 1) trainees loan repayments; 2) qualified personnel to develop, staff, certify, and evaluate the LRP; 3) qualified personnel to locate and certify participating facilities/groups.
HB21-1012 – Expand Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
Current law requires the prescription drug monitoring program (program) to track all controlled substances prescribed in Colorado. The bill expands the PRESCRIPTION DRUG MONITORING PROGRAM (PDMP, effective February 1, 2023, to track all prescription drugs prescribed in this state. The bill extends the repeal of the program until September 1, 2028.
WHY THIS BILL IS IMPORTANT:
The PDMP currently covers 45,700 practitioners, including dentists, doctors, nurses, optometrists, podiatrists, and veterinarians, who issue about seven million prescriptions annually for controlled substances. The expansion of this bill means the tracking of an additional 35-50 MILLION prescriptions annually.
WHAT THIS BILL WILL DO IF ENACTED:
It will allow health care providers access to the full set of prescriptions for each patient so that the provider may avoid writing unnecessary or even creating harmful mix of prescriptions to their patients.