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URGENT Action Needed: Protect Patient Access in Colorado!

HB20-1085 Action Alert Email

Thanks to the efforts of AAC and our lobbying team over the past year, as well as coordination with other complimentary health practices, the Colorado Senate and House completed passage of House Bill 20-1085 – Prevention of Substance Abuse Disorders.

This legislation will reduce future opioid dependency in Colorado and provide optimal access to necessary rehabilitative services. 

Key Points for Providers in House Bill 20-1085: 

  • Insurers must provide coverage for nonpharmacological treatment as an alternative to opioids.
  • A minimum of six acupuncture, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and chiropractic visits must be authorized at a copay amount that does not exceed the copay amount of primary care visits. 
  • Insurers may not require prior authorization for these visits. 

Current policies create barriers for patients seeking alternative treatment. In most cases, it's easier and less expensive for physicians to prescribe opioids and for patients to receive opioids. House Bill 20-1085 remedies this by ensuring that all health benefit plans provide coverage for at least six alternative therapy visits at a co-pay amount not to exceed the regular amount charged for a primary care visit. 


The bill has been sent to Governor Polis for approval but there is concern that he will veto the bill due to the perception that the bill represents a new mandate to insurance companies. 

Please contact the Governor’s office (and ask your patients to as well!) to let him know you want him to sign the bill into law! 

Email Governor Polis: governorpolis@state.co.us
Call Governor Polis:  303-866-2885 

Please note: We recommend all members also look up their legislators and send to them, as pressure from grassroots + legislators = PRICELESS.


Here is a sample letter and script for you to use:

Governor Polis,

As a Colorado constituent, I am contacting you to request your support in signing HB 20-1085 into law, which provides access for Coloradans to skilled rehabilitative services as an alternative to opioid use.

Over 500 (drugabuse.gov) Coloradans are losing their lives annually to opioids, with a frequent starting point for opioid use being musculoskeletal pain. When a physician visit to obtain an opioid is cheaper than addressing the underlying pain, we have a significant problem. This bill works to address this issue by mirroring copays with primary care to expand access to those in need.  

Complimentary care providers, including Acupuncturists, are able to provide a skilled alternative to opioids. Further data shows increasing access to these providers prevents opioid use. 

HB 20-1085, with bipartisan support from the Colorado House and Senate, increases patient access to these skilled rehabilitative services by ensuring all health plans provide a minimum of six visits of unrestricted coverage.

Your support of this very important legislation is greatly appreciated,


(your name)

(your county)

(your zip code)

Best Practices for COVID19 Safety - Acupuncturist Townhall

Download slides (Townhall was recorded April 25, 2020. Changes in recommended dates are subject to change)




Executive Order D2020 027  (April 6, 2020)

Amending Executive Order D 2020 009 to Extend the Temporary Cessation of All Elective
and Non-Essential Surgeries and Procedures and Preserving Personal Protective Equipment 
and Ventilators in Colorado Due to the Presence of COVID-19

Amended Public Health Order 20-24  (March 25, 2020)


Executive Order D2020 09  (March 19, 2020)

Ordering the Temporary Cessation of All Elective and Non-Essential Surgeries
and Procedures and Preserving Personal Protective Equipment and Ventilators
in Colorado Due to the Presence of COVID-19

Governor institutes temporary ban on all elective and non-essential
surgeries and procedures, affecting Medical, Dental and Veterinary licensees

DORA Summary of Executive Order D2020 09

The Order affects all hospitals, outpatient facilities, and procedure providers. Rural and critical access hospitals -- though strongly advised to follow this guidance to maximize resources -- are exempt from this mandate. Medical, Dental and Veterinary licensees under the Division of Professions and Occupations at DORA are impacted.

Procedures in those professions may take place only under the following conditions:

  1. There is a threat to the patient’s life if the surgery or procedure is not performed.
  2. There is a threat of permanent dysfunction of an extremity or organ system if the surgery or procedure is not performed.
  3. There is a risk of metastasis or progression of staging of a disease or condition if a surgery or procedure is not performed.
  4. There is a risk that the patient’s condition will rapidly deteriorate if the surgery or procedure is not performed, and there is a threat to life, or to an extremity or organ system, or of permanent dysfunction or disability.

Only individuals essential to conducting a surgery or procedure will be allowed in the surgery, procedure suite, or other outpatient care areas where personal protective equipment is required in order to preserve PPE.

Public Health Order 20-23  (March 18, 2020)


Public Health Order 20-22   (March 16, 2020)


Colorado Public Health Order: What it means, what the possible
repercussions are and how can you report those not in compliance

2020 Annual Member Meeting 


Recording of New Board Member introductions - will be deleted after vote completed on April 27th at midnight.

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