DENVER — The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) held a press conference Friday, along with Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera, to announce the introduction of HB22-1278. The bill creates the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) to ensure Coloradans can access behavioral health care regardless of where they live in the state or their ability to pay.

The BHA will be led by Dr. Morgan Medlock, who was appointed by Gov. Jared Polis in January.

“For Colorado to thrive, it must have a robust, well-functioning, and person-centric behavioral health system,” said Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera. “Since 2019, our administration has worked to transform behavioral health in Colorado – the implementation of the Behavioral Health Administration as well as bills like HB22-1278 are important steps forward in ensuring that every Coloradan has access to the care and services they need, when and where they need them.”

By July 1, 2024, the bill requires the BHA to establish:

  • Universal standards for accessibility and quality of care;
  • A behavioral health performance monitoring system;
  • A comprehensive behavioral health safety net system;
  • Regionally-based behavioral health administrative service organizations to ensure every region in Colorado has accessible and high quality services; and
  • A statewide behavioral health grievance system.

“We are building on the foundations we laid during the Behavioral Health Task Force of 2019, and fulfilling our promises to the people of Colorado,” Dr. Medlock said Friday.