Colorado Consumer Health Initiative

A nonprofit organization

$21,661 raised by 77 donors

Who We Are

The Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (CCHI) is a nonprofit, consumer-oriented, membership-based health advocacy organization that serves Coloradans whose access to health care and financial security are compromised by structural barriers, affordability, poor benefits, or unfair business practices of the health care industry. 

Vision

All Coloradans have equitable access to affordable, high-quality health care.

Our Work

At the Capitol

House Bill 21-1198 Hospital Discounted Care: CCHI worked with partner organizations to pass HB21-1198 in 2021, which set requirements Colorado hospitals must meet for screening and providing discounted care to eligible Coloradans. Hospitals must screen for eligibility for public health insurance programs and provide discounts on bills to help make all care received in a hospital facility more affordable. HB21-1198 also established important consumer protections around payment plans and debt collections.The CCHI team worked tirelessly during the implementation process to ensure that the intent of the legislation was realized. September 1, 2023, marked one year of the law being in place, so CCHI has shifted our focus to ensuring hospitals meet their requirements and that consumers are accessing the discounted care they are entitled to!

Senate Bill 23-189: Increasing Access to Reproductive Health Care: With increased threats to reproductive, gender affirming and preventative care posed by the Dobbs decision and ongoing legal battles over the Affordable Care Act, enshrining cost-sharing free access in state law is crucial. This bill increases access to care by ensuring that coverage of abortion in state-regulated insurance plans is cost-sharing free. It also expands free access to treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and enshrines more comprehensive protections for free access to preventative services in Colorado that are threatened by an ongoing legal battle at the federal level.

House Bill 23-1215: Limits on Hospital Facility Fees was signed into law by Lt. Governor Primavera in April of 2023. As large shares of the health care market are absorbed into corporate health care systems, “facility fees”--which were originally only used in emergency departments–are being tacked onto more and more services, driving up the cost of health care at the expense of the consumer. The bill creates a study of facility fees so lawmakers and advocates can better understand them, establishes patient-facing transparency measures, and prohibits facility fees on preventative services.


Consumer Assistance Program

In June 2018, CCHI founded a Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) that helps individual consumers navigate medical billing, claims and access to care issues, and prescription drug costs. In addition to providing free direct assistance to consumers, CAP informs CCHI’s policy and regulatory advocacy by surfacing issues consumers face on a daily basis. This helps us identify emerging concerns and potential policy changes. In just 5 years, CAP has served nearly 3,000 Coloradans, and saved consumers over $7.3 million in unjust medical costs!

Consumer Story: In January of 2023, 4 months after the implementation of Hospital Discounted Care (HDC), Mia, a 61 year old woman visiting her daughter, broke both of her wrists and went to the hospital. Mia was screened for HDC, and was found to be eligible for a 100% discount on her care. However, when Mia went into her scheduled surgery a week later, she was told that she would have to pay $11,000, and would not receive the necessary care until she did so. Mia’s daughter was forced to max out all of her credit cards to pay for the surgery. Not only was Mia’s discounted care not applied, when the surgery was scheduled Mia and her daughter did not receive the required Good Faith Estimate regarding the cost of care. Mia and her daughter came to CCHI’s Consumer Assistance Program for support. A member of our CAP team reached out to the hospital, persisting even after being shuffled from department to department. Finally, after connecting with the Colorado Department of Health Care and Financing, our CAP team was able to secure Mia and her daughter a full refund. Estimated Savings: $11,000.

As a consumer-oriented organization, it is imperative that our policy work reflects the experiences, needs, and wishes of Coloradans. In addition to providing direct service through our CAP, the stories we receive directly impact our policy work. Mia’s story demonstrates that even when the policy we support is passed, there is always more work to do supporting Coloradans in accessing health care, and holding health care providers accountable.

Strategic Engagement

In addition to the stories we receive from CAP, CCHI employs a Community Advisory Board in order to ensure that our policy priorities are informed by Coloradans with lived experience facing structural barriers in accessing health care.


Giving Activity

Mission

CCHI advances the consumer voice to improve access to health care for all Coloradans by working statewide for progress toward equity, affordability and quality.

Background Statement

CCHI was created in 2000 to be a counterweight to powerful health care interests by building a cohesive consumer voice among health advocacy organizations and their constituents.

Health is fundamental to a person's overall well-being and ability to lead a productive life. However, a complex and inequitable health care system erects barriers that impede Coloradans' ability to achieve good health and can also jeopardize their financial security. These barriers arise through laws and regulations, health insurance, at the point of accessing health care services, or in the community.

CCHI works to:

Provide consumer assistance to resolve problems with health insurance, negotiate and appeal medical bills, find cheaper prescription drugs and protect consumers health and financial security from unfair practices in health care.

Develop and mobilize support for policy proposals to control health industry costs, improve access, affordability and move Colorado toward universal health care.

Engage underrepresented communities in Colorado to advocate for increased health equity.

And, we need you! To get our emails, sign up for free at https://www.cohealthinitiative.org/community-update-action-alerts, or to get involved, become a member at: https://www.cohealthinitiative.org/become-member!

Organization Data

Summary

Organization name

Colorado Consumer Health Initiative

other names

CCHI

Year Established

2000

Tax id (EIN)

84-1145452

Category

Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, Health Care

Organization Size

Large Organization

Address

303 E. 17th Ave Ste 400
Denver, CO 80203

Service areas

Denver County, CO, US

Phone

303-839-1261

Fax

303-376-9472

Social Media