SB205-Concerning Parity Between Health Care Providers Under Health Benefit Plans.
Dear Members, Colleagues, and Affiliate Member Organizations:
Colorado Nurses Association has been actively promoting SB205-Concerning Parity Between Health Care Providers Under Health Benefit Plans. SB205 had its first committee hearing in Senate Health and Human Services committee on Thursday, April 21st.
I am delighted to report that the bill received bipartisan support and passed out of committee by a vote of 7 to 0.
Testifying on behalf of CNA were: Mary Ciambelli, GAPP-CoChair, Deanna Tollman, Dawn Fetzko, Mary Lou Hendrix, Tracy Ryan, and CNA Lobbyist, Fran Ricker. One of the most compelling parts of the hearing were the personal experiences of denials by carriers presented by the APNs testifying. The APNs testifying did an outstanding job. CNA attorney, Linda Siderius also testified to address concerns posed by the Colorado Medical Society's attorney in opposing testimony. The Colorado Rural Health Center also testified in support.
CNA wishes to acknowledge particular legislators for their highly supportive comments in the hearing: Senators Lundberg, White, Foster, Aguilar, and Newell. CNA also thanks Senator Shawn Mitchell for a surprising yes vote on SB 205 and for raising substantive questions during the hearing. Senator Roberts was absent for the hearing, but had committed her personal support for the bill. The nursing community needs to acknowledge the support by these committee members. CNA also thanks Senate HHS Chair, Senator Betty Boyd for her support of the nursing issues and for her vote.
Testifying against the bill were the Colorado Association of Health Plans representing their insurance carriers, and Colorado Medical Society.
The hearing outcome was supported by a broader nursing and health care coalition and assisted by lobbyists from several of the organizations. The following organizations support SB 205:
CNA, Colorado Association of Nurse Anesthetists, American College of Nurse Midwives,RegionV, Chapter 3, Colorado Rural Health Center, Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved, Colorado Society of Advanced Practice Nurses, Colorado Society of Clinical Specialists in Psychiatric Nursing, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners-Colorado Rocky Mountain Chapter, Northern CO Nurse Practitioner Coalition, and the Public Health Nurses Association of Colorado. Thank you for your support.
A final note of appreciation for Senator Lois Tochtrop, the bill sponsor (and a nurse) for her steadfast support. We will continue to update on the status of the bill. Thanks to all who made contacts, calls, etc - we could not have done it without you. Representative Joe Miklosi is the House sponsor.
Fran Ricker, RN, MSN
Colorado Nurses Association