CEO Update: SB22-200 Rural Provider Access and Affordability Advisory Committee aka Rural Stimulus Grant

CEO Update: SB22-200 Rural Provider Access and Affordability Advisory Committee aka Rural Stimulus Grant

It’s December already and I find myself wondering where the time went.  It’s also a time to reflect on the many things we have to be thankful for.  This year, one of the opportunities I was thankful for is the passage of SB22-200 Rural Provider Stimulus Grant Program.  In tough economic times, it’s nice when grant funding can be made available.

SB22-200 Rural Provider Stimulus Grant Program creates a $10 million grant program administered by HCPF for the state’s most vulnerable hospitals. The grant program is created to improve health care services in rural communities through modernization of information technology infrastructure and expanded access to health care. The following allowable grant uses and funding amounts are included below:

  • $4,800,000 for health care affordability project grants
  • $4,800,000 for health care access project grants
  • $400,000 for HCPF grant program administration

The bill also creates an advisory committee to advise and make formal recommendations to HCPF on the administration of the program, program guidelines, and selection of grant recipients. It includes voting members from HCPF, CDPHE, the Office of Health Innovation, one member from an organization representing rural providers, two members representing providers in a rural county and two members representing providers in a frontier county.

CRHC actively supported this bill by testifying at committee hearings, lobbied both chambers and was able to secure amendments to the bill to include two frontier representatives on advisory boards in addition to two rural representatives, which created a rural and frontier majority on the board.

Members selected to serve on the Committee were:

  • Angela Koch, Rural Health Care Consumer
  • Beth Saxton, Chief Executive Officer, Yuma District Hospital
  • Jeanine Gentry, Chief Executive Officer, Southwest Health System
  • Kelea Nardini, Chief Nursing Officer, Spanish Peaks Regional health Center
  • Michelle Mills, Chief Executive Officer, Colorado Rural Health Center, The State Office of Rural Health and Rural Health Association
  • Nancy Dolson, Director of Special Financing, HCPF
  • Stephen Holloway, Health Equity and Access Branch Director, CDPHE
  • Stephanie Pugliese, Director, OeHI
  • Zachary Weiderspon, Hospital Administrator, Conejos County/San Luis Valley Health

The committee met from September through November and I was honored to be elected as Chair of the Committee. Zachary Weiderspon was elected as the Vice Chair.

The Committee reviewed the bill (including the purpose), reviewed and approved rural hospital eligibility criteria, grant criteria, eligibility criteria questions, scoring template, reporting requirements and rule recommendations.  Next steps include the rule going out for public comment in December and grants will be available in Spring of 2023.

A huge thank you goes out to all Committee members for their efforts.  And on behalf of the CRHC staff and board we thank you for your support in 2022.  It is an extreme privilege and honor to serve rural Colorado as the State Office of Rural Health and Rural Health Association.


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