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HB 13-1088: Office of Health Equity CDPHE

HB 13-1088: Office of Health Equity CDPHE

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The current law establishes an office of health disparities, which is dedicated to eliminating racial,ethnic, and rural health disparities in Colorado. Its duties include: coordinating and providing advice tothe department, providing education to the public on racial and ethnic health disparities, improving theinterpretation and translation services within the public health systems, and coordinating andsupporting the interagency health disparities leadership council.
The current law establishes an office of health disparities, which is dedicated to eliminating racial,ethnic, and rural health disparities in Colorado. Its duties include: coordinating and providing advice tothe department, providing education to the public on racial and ethnic health disparities, improving theinterpretation and translation services within the public health systems, and coordinating andsupporting the interagency health disparities leadership council.

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Published by: Senator Mike Johnston on Mar 05, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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DRAFT 3/5/2013 1:19 PM For a complete list of fact sheets, visitwww.mikejohnston.org/in-the-legislature.
Office of Sen. Mike Johnston
Colorado General Assembly | 200 E. Colfax Avenue | Denver, CO 80203 | 303.866.4864
F
ACT
S
HEET
M
EMORANDUM
 
HB 13-1088
Office of Health Equity CDPHERep. Fields & Sen. Giron
Staff Name
: Amanda Levin
What the Bill Does
:The current law establishes an office of health disparities, which is dedicated to eliminating racial,ethnic, and rural health disparities in Colorado. Its duties include: coordinating and providing advice tothe department, providing education to the public on racial and ethnic health disparities, improving theinterpretation and translation services within the public health systems, and coordinating andsupporting the interagency health disparities leadership council.The current law also establishes the office of minority health advisory commission, whose purpose is toprovide a formal mechanism for community members to raise awareness of minority health needs,issues and resources, as well as to give input on health programming. It includes ten members who
represent Colorado’s ethnic, racial and geographic diversity. There must be at least one member who
represents African Americans and Blacks in Colorado, one member who represents Asian Americans andPacific Islanders, one who represents native American Indians, and one who represents Latinos andHispanics.This bill will change the current law in five primary ways. First, it changes the name of the departmentfrom the office of health disparities to the office of health equity, in order to represent the recentadvancements in the field of health by broadening the scope of the office to include the economic,physical, and social environment. It will offer a more inclusive and collaborative approach to eliminatinghealth disparities for all Coloradans.Second, the bill
defines “health disparities” as the differences in health status, access to care, and
quality of care as determined by race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status,aging population, socioeconomic status, and other factors.Third, the bill
defines “health equity” as achieving the highest level of health for all people, focusing its
efforts to address avoidable inequalities by equalizing those conditions for health for all groups,especially for who have experienced socioeconomic disadvantages or historical injustices.Fourth, the purpose of the commission will be to serve as an advisor to the office on health equityissues, specifically on alignment, education, and capacity-building for state and local health programsand community-based organizations. The make up of the commission will change as well. There must be
10 members who represent, as practically as possible, Colorado’s diverse ethnic, racial, sexual
orientation, gender identity, disability, aging population, socioeconomic, and geographic backgrounds.
 
DRAFT 3/5/2013 1:19 PM For a complete list of fact sheets, visitwww.mikejohnston.org/in-the-legislature.Each person appointed must have demonstrated expertise in at least one of the following areas: AfricanAmerican, Black, Asian-American, Pacific Islander, Native American, Hispanic, Latino, aging population,lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender, disabled, low socioeconomic status, and geographic communityhealth issues; data collection, aggregation, or dissemination; education; housing; healthy communitydesign; community engagement; local public health; nonprofits, foundation or grant-making;environmental health; behavior health; or the provision of health care services.
Finally, the bill codifies the commission’s existing, informal practice of having a subcommittee first
review grant applications and then make grant recommendations for the Health Disparities GrantProgram.
Colorado Context
:Individuals who have distinct cultural needs are affected by health care provider bias. Such bias may betied to race or ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, socioeconomic status, orgeographical differences.
1
 In Colorado, the cost of Medicaid and emergency Medicaid has grown significantly, with costs foremergency Medicaid going up 57 percent between 2002-2008.
2
Emergency Medicaid costs rose from$39.4 million in 2001-2002 to $61.9 million in 2006.
3
 
National Context
:States are trending towards the idea of health equity instead of health disparities in order to put a morepositive spin on addressing health care, with the ultimate goal of eliminating racial and ethnic disparitiesin health.
4
The federal government has an Office of Minority Health & Health Equity.
5
 Massachusetts attempted to pass a similar bill that adopted a broad definition of people included in
“health disparities”
and that would create an Office of Health Equity, but it failed and has beenadjourned.
6
It was the only state in 2012 to do so.
Florida’s Office of Minority Health
7
, Arkansas’ Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities
8
,
Connecticut’s Department of Public Health
9
, Minnesota
’s
Office of Minority and Multicultural Health
10
,
1
Colorado Interagency Health Disparities Leadership Council,
Eliminating Health Disparities, A Cornerstone for 
Solving Colorado’s Health Crisis
2
 
Id.
at 9.
3
 
Id.
 
4
National Conference on State Legislators,
State Profiles: Minority Health and Health Equity Offices
5
CDC,
 About CDC’s Office of Minority Health & Health Equity (OMHHE)
, last reviewed March 26, 2012,http://www.cdc.gov/minorityhealth/omhhe.html. 
6
National Conference on State Legislators,
2012 Health Disparities Legislation
7
Florida Department of Health,
Welcome to the Office of Minority Health (OMH)
8
Arkansas Department of Health,
Minority Health and Health Disparities
9
Department of Public Health,
Health Disparities
, last modified Sept. 28, 2012,http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3132&q=388116. 

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