2019 Legislative Summary Report

  • The 2019 Colorado General Assembly adjourned on May 3, with the governor having thirty days to act on all passed legislation. There were 598 bills introduced (compared to 721 in 2018), with 170 bills related to the topic of health care. The highest profile, and most controversial, bill related to health care was HB 1312, concerning immunization of children, which died in the Senate on the last day of session.
  • The OTAC legislative committee met monthly since December and tracked a final total of 18 bills. HB 1117, limiting the regulation of professional licenses under DORA, was defeated in the first committee and HB 1312, concerning the immunizations of children, died in the Senate. Four bill have already been signed by the Governor. As of May 3, 12 bills passed and are awaiting action from the Governor.
  • OTAC had a successful session from grassroots and policy perspectives. There was a successful legislative lobby hill day on March 20, with the lieutenant governor, Dianne Primavera, starting the event. After her speech, we had a series of Democrat and Republican legislators speaking on a wide range of topics from opioid addiction treatment to the 2020 reauthorization of the occupational therapy practice act. After the speakers concluded, participants lobbied freshman legislators, educating them about the profession of occupational therapy.
  • The most significant health issue debated during the 2019 session was reinsurance for health care. As introduced, the legislation would have reduced the fees that hospitals pay for occupational services. We worked with a coalition of health interest groups to eliminate this provision. This legislation was heavily debated with the final legislation providing for the funding to come from hospitals, the Federal government and the vendor fee.
  • Treatment for Opioid addiction and recovery continued to be addressed at the legislature. The legislative committee endorsed two (SB 008 and SB 228) of the three bills related to this topic.
  • Another important bill to occupational therapy was HB 1211, concerning the process of reauthorization of medical services. Although the bill was amended, the final version still brings some transparency to a controversial process that often limits the visits an injured person can use for occupational therapy services.
  • There is going to be three interim committees addressing health care issues. These issues range from the costs of insurance, to studying health care concerns affecting all Colorado residents, and competition in health care markets.

A complete legislative report of the 2019 Colorado legislature, including bill number, sponsor, and final action, can be found here.