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Legislative Year: 2021 Change

Bill Detail: HB21-1276

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Title Prevention Of Substance Use Disorders
Status Governor Signed (06/28/2021)
Bill Subjects
  • Health Care & Health Insurance
House Sponsors C. Kennedy (D)
L. Herod (D)
Senate Sponsors K. Priola (R)
B. Pettersen (D)
House Committee Health and Insurance
Senate Committee State, Veterans and Military Affairs
Date Introduced 04/15/2021

Section 2 of the bill requires a health benefit plan issued or
renewed on or after January 1, 2023, to provide coverage for
nonpharmacological treatment as an alternative to opioids. The required
coverage must include, at a cost-sharing amount not to exceed the
cost-sharing amount for a primary care visit for nonpreventive services
and without a prior authorization requirement, at least 6 physical therapy
visits, 6 occupational therapy visits, 6 chiropractic visits, and 6
acupuncture visits per year.

Section 3 requires an insurance carrier (carrier) that provides
prescription drug benefits to provide coverage, beginning January 1,
2023, for at least one atypical opioid that is approved by the federal food
and drug administration (FDA) for the treatment of acute or chronic pain,
which coverage must be at the lowest cost-sharing tier of the carrier's
formulary with no requirement for step therapy or prior authorization.
Additionally, a carrier cannot require step therapy for any additional
FDA-approved atypical opioids.
Section 4 precludes a carrier that has a contract with a physical
therapist, occupational therapist, chiropractor, or acupuncturist from:
  • Prohibiting the physical therapist, occupational therapist,
chiropractor, or acupuncturist from, or penalizing the
physical therapist, occupational therapist, chiropractor, or
acupuncturist for, providing a covered person information
on the amount of the covered person's financial
responsibility for the covered person's physical therapy,
occupational therapy, chiropractic services, or acupuncture
services; or
  • Requiring the physical therapist, occupational therapist,
chiropractor, or acupuncturist to charge a covered person
an amount or collect a copayment from a covered person
that exceeds the total charges submitted to the carrier by
the physical therapist, occupational therapist, chiropractor,
or acupuncturist.
The commissioner is required to take action against a carrier that the
commissioner determines is not complying with these prohibitions.
Current law limits specified prescribers from prescribing more
than a 7-day supply of an opioid to a patient who has not obtained an
opioid prescription from that prescriber within the previous 12 months
unless certain conditions apply. This prescribing limitation is set to repeal
on September 1, 2021. Sections 5 through 13 continue the prescribing
limitation indefinitely.
Section 5 also requires the executive director of the department of
regulatory agencies to promulgate rules that limit the supply of a
benzodiazepine, which is a sedative commonly prescribed for anxiety and
as a sleep aid, that a prescriber may prescribe to a patient who has not had
a prescription for a benzodiazepine in the last 12 months.
Section 14 requires a licensed physician and licensed physician
assistant to demonstrate compliance with continuing medical education
concerning prescribing practices for opioids as a condition of license
Section 15 requires the Colorado medical board (board) to consult
with the center for research into substance use disorder prevention,
treatment, and recovery support strategies (center) to promulgate rules
establishing competency-based continuing education requirements for
physicians and physician assistants concerning prescribing practices for
Section 16 continues indefinitely the requirement that a
health-care provider query the prescription drug monitoring program
(program) before prescribing an opioid, including a benzodiazepine, and
changes current law to require the query on every prescription fill, not just
the second fill.
In addition to current law allowing medical examiners and
coroners to query the program when conducting an autopsy, section 16
allows medical examiners and coroners to query the program when
conducting a death investigation.
Section 16 also authorizes the board to provide a means of sharing
prescription information from the program with the health information
organization network in order to work collaboratively with statewide
health information exchanges designated by the department of health care
policy and financing.
Section 17 requires the center to include in its continuing
education activities the best practices for prescribing benzodiazepines and
the potential harm of inappropriately limiting prescriptions to chronic
pain patients and makes an appropriation for this purpose.
Section 18 directs the office of behavioral health in the department
of human services to convene a collaborative with institutions of higher
education, nonprofit agencies, and state agencies for the purpose of
gathering feedback from local public health agencies, institutions of
higher education, nonprofit agencies, and state agencies concerning
evidence-based prevention practices.

Committee Reports
with Amendments
Full Text
Full Text of Bill (pdf) (most recent)
Fiscal Notes Fiscal Notes (07/19/2021) (most recent)  
Additional Bill Documents Bill Documents
  • Past bill versions
  • Past fiscal notes
  • Committee activity and documents
  • Bill History
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Votes House and Senate Votes
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