SB18-024 Expand Access to Behavioral Health Care Providers
The bill updates the Colorado Health Service Corps Program in order to increase access to behavioral health care providers across the state. The bill allows behavioral health care providers to participate in the loan repayment program if they commit to providing services in shortage areas for a defined period of time and establishes a scholarship program for individuals pursuing or increasing their level of certification as an addiction counselor. The bill also directs the State Board of Health to develop methodologies to identify areas in the state where there is a shortage of health care professionals.
The Children’s Campaign supports this bill and its efforts to increase access to behavioral health professionals by building the capacity of the workforce, in particular in those areas of the state experiencing a shortage of health care professionals. Behavioral health care professionals provide critical supports and prevention and early intervention services for kids and families, helping to support children’s healthy development and maternal mental health, and to address delays, challenging behaviors, substance abuse, and other concerns.
Passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on a bipartisan vote of 4-1 as amended and now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee