Several significant bills passed this legislative session, strengthening opportunities to improve the lives of Colorado residents across the lifespan, from prenatal care to early childhood development to adult services. The Colorado Lab worked together with state and local government agencies, legislators, the Governor’s Office, research colleagues, and subject matter experts to inform this suite of legislative decision making.
Colorado ranks among the lowest in the nation in terms of the percentage of the population receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) with about 60% of eligible residents participating. This study examines the impact of SNAP enrollment on healthcare costs–particularly emergency room visits and hospitalizations–among Colorado residents enrolled in Medicaid. If the study identifies substantial cost savings, it will provide a fiscal reason for increasing enrollment in SNAP among those who are eligible.
Colorado is taking a data-informed approach to understanding the needs of non-professional caregivers who take care of loved ones with chronic or acute health conditions or developmental disabilities. This project examines the impact of the TCARE process on caregiver well-being and use of preventive health care, while also looking qualitatively at whether TCARE is a viable care option in Colorado.
Families affected by substance use during a pregnancy are at risk for infant and maternal mortality, significant health consequences, and threats to well-being of the family as a whole. This data linkage study improves our ability to monitor current trends by establishing a comprehensive set of definitions for prenatal substance use for affected mothers and infants in Colorado.
Almost 13% of the population in Mesa County, Colorado lack access to or have limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods. This project developed a training video to enhance the ability of medical professionals and educators to identify and discuss food insecurity with their clients and families. The efficacy of the video at increasing access to food assistance programs among the food insecure will be tested as part of a future project.