Member Advisory Council

Representing the Member perspective

Rocky Mountain Health Plans (RMHP) is a partner with Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program).  The Accountable Care Collaborative (ACC) is a Health First Colorado health plan option.  RMHP administers the ACC on the Western Slope and in Larimer County.  RMHP also has a health plan called RMHP Prime that provides health care services to most adult Health First Colorado members, and some children with disabilities in certain counties on the Western Slope. 

RMHP believes that members and their families have great insight on how to improve Health First Colorado.  For that reason, we are forming Member Advisory Councils in the communities we serve. 

One of the goals of the Member Advisory Councils is to facilitate real and meaningful Member engagement.  The Member Advisory Councils have involvement in higher level program and policy work and act as the eyes and ears for RMHP regarding Member perspective. 

At the current time:

  •  A Member Advisory Council representing the Western Slope is actively engaged and meets on a quarterly basis in Grand Junction.  
  •  A Member Advisory Council representing Larimer County is in the planning stages.

To learn more, please view these resources:

Get Involved

We are actively looking for individuals interested in helping to improve Health First Colorado – the health care system for low income Coloradans.  RMHP is committed to ensuring that a diverse group of individuals are welcomed to the table, and that recommendations from the councils are representative of the populations they are intended to serve. 

In-person attendance at meetings is strongly preferred, however Members are able to join remotely on occasion via conference line and webinar.  Direct travel expenses are reimbursed. 

If you are interested in participating, please contact Nicole Konkoly by phone at 303-967-2004 or email: [email protected].

Member Advisory Council FAQs

What is the Rocky Mountain Health Plans Member Advisory Council?

RMHP decided early on they wanted this to be real and meaningful client engagement.  Therefore they have put time, energy and resources into building an effective council that has involvement in higher level program and policy work and acts as the eyes and ears for RMHP regarding the client perspective.  The council also shares information.  Each council member represents a region of the Western Slope.   In 2015 listening occurred and priorities were set by the members.  The council also engaged with providers and began discussing some of the challenges inherent in accessing care in rural Colorado.  In 2016 the members began working to form their own local groups and engage in activities throughout the region to assure that the client voice is heard on all matters of policy related to health care delivery and quality.  The council will also be engaging in client centric education and information sharing – on topics chosen by and important to clients.

Why is this necessary?

The state requires some sort of effort but does not require anything this extensive.   RMHP believes that they need the client voice in a significant and meaningful way in order for them to be successful.  Data supports this conclusion. Clients have a perspective that is essential to consider when designing health programs.  Many programs over the years have failed due to failure to engage clients in a meaningful way. 

If a client has input can’t they just contact RMHP?

Absolutely, the client can and should contact RMHP with any input, particularly if it is related to their immediate care needs.  This council is about working as a group—and the collective impact of getting clients together to improve the system. 

What are the responsibilities of members?

Members are the eyes and ears of RMHP.  They attend quarterly meetings and must prepare for these meetings.   In 2016 each member began working to get involved in some sort of outreach project in their community.   This involved figuring out what outreach project is best in their community, helping hired coordinators organize these events, advertise, implement and evaluate the events.   Members are to explain to peers what a RAE is, what care coordination can be, and if they see someone struggling they refer that person to the RMHP customer service line.   They review grievance and call data and make suggestions to RMHP.  They suggest ideas for better communicating with clients. The terms are 2 years.

What are the benefits of membership?

The greatest benefit is being part of a positive, active group to engage on the grassroots level in their own communities and beyond.  Members benefit through the connection to other Western Slope leaders.  Members receive a substantial amount of free training.  Members are at the forefront of an exciting and innovative client engagement process.

How often do they meet?

The entire council meets quarterly.  As local groups form, the group meetings will likely be more frequent. 

Are members paid for their time?

Council members are not paid for their time but all expenses are reimbursed.   Local groups will be provided with contract staff to assist them with logistics and organizing their work and the council is provided with staff support from the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition. 

How does one become a member?

Qualifications to be a member include:

  • Must be a Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid Program) client or immediate family member/caregiver of a Health First Colorado client
  • Interest in healthcare policy
  • Interest in increasing client engagement
  • Enjoy working in groups
  • Desire to learn and increase skills
  • Desire to teach and help empower peers who are also Medicaid clients
  • Willingness to attend quarterly meetings in Grand Junction (all expenses including hotel rooms covered)
  • Willingness to work in local community on outreach projects

What do I do if I know a good candidate?

If a care coordinator has a possible member to suggestm please contact Julie Reiskin at 303-667-4216 or [email protected] so we can discuss the member.   Julie will discuss with RMHP staff and then a call with the member, Rocky staff and Julie will take place to determine the fit.  Potential members are always supported to observe a meeting and are given materials to read in advance of the meeting.  After a call and observation (if desired) if all parties agree that member is put on the council.

Are the meetings open?

No, the meetings are not open because this is a client-driven process.  Notes of meetings are available for any RMHP client to review.

Why did RMHP partner with the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC) to facilitate the council?

CCDC is a statewide client run organization that has the relationships and ability to involve local leaders and local organizations such as Centers for Independent Living. CCDC is able to keep the relationship purely consultative assuring the group is really calling the shots. CCDC has experience with assuring client involvement with policy and with setting up local groups to engage in outreach and education.  CCDC is run by and for people with disabilities and covers people with all types of disabilities.