Commissioner Pogue, Sheriff FitzSimons endorse letter about mental health reform sent to Gov. Polis | SummitDaily.com
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Commissioner Pogue, Sheriff FitzSimons endorse letter about mental health reform sent to Gov. Polis

Summit County Commissioner Tamara Pogue sits in the Summit County Courthouse on Sept. 8. Pogue is an advocate for mental health and is working with other county staff members to increase access to acute care in the county.
John Hanson/For the Summit Daily News

After a recent Colorado News Collaborative article exposed the state’s failing mental health safety net, Mental Health Colorado drafted and sent a letter to Gov. Jared Polis about immediate reform.

Of those who signed and supported the letter were Summit County Commissioner Tamara Pogue and Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons.

The letter asks that state leaders “address serious problems with the state’s 17 community mental health centers, including their lack of transparency, their inequitable payment practices and their failures to serve Coloradans with greatest needs.”



Some of the immediate policy reforms called for in the letter include:

  • The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing must reform the way it pays the community mental health centers to ensure more accountability and transparency of taxpayer dollars.
  • A new formula be developed for reimbursement rates by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing by July 1, 2022.
  • The state needs to create a standing group to help establish this payment reform and this group should be limited to only one representative of the community mental health center system.
  • The state ends all practices and policies that essentially establish community mental health centers as the only providers in Colorado’s behavioral health safety net system.

Other leaders to endorse the letter were Ray Merenstein, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Colorado; Hope Hyatt, executive director of the Colorado Mental Wellness Network; and Mary Anne Harvey, executive director of Disability Law Colorado.




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