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SLVH Supports HB 168 at the State Capitol

March 20, 2024

Colorado State Capitol, Denver, Colorado

Re: Testimonial for support for Remote Patient Monitoring to be approved for Medicaid reimbursement, at the Senate Health & Human Services Committee

Madam Chair and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to speak today. My name is Becky Daniels, and I serve as a special projects manager for San Luis Valley Health in Alamosa. I am here speaking in support of Senate Bill 168.

San Luis Valley Health is a main provider of community healthcare services to the residents of the San Luis Valley. The Valley is the size of Delaware and made up of rural and frontier counties. It is home to some of the most impoverished people in Colorado, many of them relying on Medicaid. Our communities have limited economic and medical resources and have some of the poorest health outcomes across the state. SLV Health continuously strives to provide integrated, patient-centered services to the people who live there.


As you can imagine, our sickest patients have the most barriers to care and rural providers like SLV Health must constantly be innovating to identify opportunities to make care more accessible and to be more responsive to the barriers facing our patients. To get to the hospital or clinic, the drive can be up to an hour and a half or more in good weather if the patient has reliable transportation. Transportation companies are extremely limited, causing delays in care at times due to ride availability. We are also limited in home health options.

When the Broadband Grant from the state was announced, SLV Health saw an opportunity to implement Remote Patient Monitoring. It gives our patients peace of mind knowing they have real-time oversight of their medical conditions without having to navigate travel restrictions. Our patients have told us they feel more supported by the people who oversee their care and feel like they are more involved in treatment decisions. We can see changes in their conditions before they become critical or make changes to their care as soon as we see they are not working the way we had hoped. This level of support improves timely intervention while potentially avoiding a higher level of care.

We continue to identify people in our care who would benefit from remote patient monitoring like those with uncontrolled diabetes, high-risk pregnancies, and patients being discharged from the hospital faster to prevent complications from longer stays.

Remote patient monitoring is available to our patients who have commercial insurance or Medicare, but our Medicaid population remains uninsured for this service. This is one of our largest and most vulnerable populations, and they are unable to receive this service without additional financial assistance. We are currently utilizing our grant funding to keep this accessible to all our patients, but once the grant is spent, we will no longer be able to sustain this service for Medicaid patients, creating further inequity in their ability to attain resources that help them live healthier lives.

In medically underserved areas like the San Luis Valley, emergency room beds and inpatient beds can become limited quickly, delaying care for everyone. If we can reduce the number of patients who require these acute services, we have the potential to prevent the need for higher-level care, reducing undue burden on our healthcare system, and ensuring resources are available for those who need them without delay.

In closing, I respectfully ask for your yes vote on this bill. Thank you for your time and consideration of my testimony, I am happy to answer your questions.

Becky Daniels

Special Projects Manager

San Luis Valley Health

Becky Daniels with Colorado Senator Cleave Simpson