Lead agency: Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS)
Primary Contact: Samantha O’Neill-Dunbar
Programs involved: Medicaid, the Children’s Health Plan Plus (CHP+) Program, the Colorado Works Program (TANF), SNAP, and the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP)
As one of the two county-run states to receive a planning grant, Colorado’s main goal for the planning year was to gain consensus among state and county leaders and stakeholders on the changes in policy, procedures, and technology needed to accomplish streamlining and coordination across programs. In recent years, Colorado has eliminated some statutory barriers to coordination, but clients still faced challenges to receiving benefits and staying enrolled. The state’s overarching goal for the planning year was to determine how to most effectively and efficiently serve the increasing number of benefit applicants and recipients, and they pursued that goal by taking these steps in the planning year:
- engaging counties to reach a shared understanding of key challenges and goals;
- establishing linkages between agencies to create efficiencies and looking at clients holistically;
- completing a policy crosswalk and data analyses across benefit programs;
- coordinating and connecting similar initiatives to prevent duplication;
- developing a communication plan within the project team, between agencies, and externally with local staff and other partners; and
- exploring business process strategies to improve timeliness, increase access, and eliminate inefficiencies and duplicative processes.
Colorado’s plan, designed as a partnership between the state and the counties, focuses on re-engineering business processes in the counties; improving staff capacity, training, and communication; enhancing automated eligibility systems; and aligning policies across work support programs. Mini-grants to counties to explore call centers and modernization are anticipated. Colorado’s plan includes numerical goals for improving families’ participation in work support programs and speeding up eligibility decision making. In order to achieve these goals, the work is being tackled through the achievement of concrete deliverables that lie in four primary areas: improving administrative efficiency, enhancing access to benefits and information, messaging and outreach, and improving family well-being. In Colorado, work support programs are delivered in a state supervised, county administered system. Therefore, outreach to county and community partners and operationalizing feedback loops among the state and local partners is a central feature of Colorado’s plan. As a county-administered, state-supervised locale, progress in Colorado may have important lessons for other county-administered states, such as New York and California.
The Executive Summary of Colorado's Action Plan [pdf]
Phase I: Planning Year - Evaluation Report