Change Management Plan for Defining the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) January - Summer 2021

Health Management Associates (HMA)

HMA is a Colorado-based independent consulting and research firm contracted by the State of Colorado to understand the state’s behavioral health programs, services and initiatives in detail. HMA is  supporting the state in creating the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) while maintaining and strengthening the vital work that exists. Coloradans are at the center of HMA’s work. The commitment is to maintain a focus on Coloradans and the ultimate impact that the creation of the BHA will have on individuals and families as well as state agencies and stakeholders. Click here to meet the team!

Change Management

Change management is a process to prepare, support, and help individuals, programs, and organizations in making change. Colorado is early in the change management process to inform the creation of the BHA with a focus on engagement among state personnel and other stakeholders to listen to ideas, concerns and challenges. This part of the change management process is NOT the stage where the BHA decisions are finalized, nor the stage when those decisions are being implemented. This is the time to listen, engage and understand to create solutions together.

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About this Page

This page features up-to-date information about the change management process, progress, frequently asked questions, opportunities to engage, and access to additional resources. The page will continue to be updated, including announcements and links to register to attend open forums so please bookmark this link and check back often! 

For information on the broader Behavioral Health Reform efforts, including legislation, and to sign up for the “Constructing Change” newsletter, please click here.

Graphic depicting change management process

Project Timeline
Timeline of behavioral health reform activities

More Information
What is the BHA?

The Behavioral Health Task Force unanimously recommended establishing a Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) to lead and promote Colorado’s behavioral health priorities, ensure that behavioral health services respond to the changing needs of communities, monitor state and local outcomes, and evaluate state efforts. The BHA will maximize individual experience and expertise, maintain institutional knowledge, build strong collaboration between departments and programs, and enhance the overall system. For information on Colorado’s broader Behavioral Health Reform efforts, including legislation, click here.

The BHA is a new entity that will be housed in CDHS until 2024. The structure of the BHA is not yet known; however, the BHA will be a new administration that does not currently exist in the Colorado state government. Decisions, including how to best structure the BHA, will be made by the Behavioral Health Reform Executive Committee and the Governor's Office. A detailed plan for the creation and establishment of the BHA will be submitted to the General Assembly by November 1, 2021. 

The BHA will create a strong foundation for Colorado to have a behavioral health system that puts people first, and the work to reform the system will continue over the next several years. The BHA will not address all of the problems in our behavioral health system. However, the BHA will continually improve the behavioral health system and adapt it to meet the changing needs of communities across Colorado.

Why is HMA doing this work?

With over one million Coloradans in need of behavioral health services, we must strengthen our system —from prevention to recovery and beyond. Colorado has national recognition for high quality and innovative behavioral health work. At the same time, as a system there are challenges delivering that innovation to all Coloradans. Duplication, siloed services, and no single accountable state nor government agency limits the success of individual agencies, programs, counties, or providers. This work is to inform a system that works for all Coloradans.

HMA’s work is supporting the fulfillment of the vision and platform for real and lasting change in the behavioral health system. It is vital that the planning of the solution for forming the BHA is thoughtful, accurate, and timely to ensure the BHA is successful. Through its analysis, HMA will understand the current state and how proposed solutions to create the BHA could impact stakeholders at all levels and most importantly Coloradans.

How is HMA doing this work?

HMA is supporting the technical work to understand the behavioral health efforts in the State and all the details associated with those efforts to help inform the formation of the BHA. ​HMA is assessing who and what will be affected by the change, and how. This includes a 3 stage process (stage 1 - Investigation, stage 2 - Solutions, stage 3 - Implementation plan) for collecting information and discussing the change with people who have different views of the system. HMA will create options and solutions for the Behavioral Health Reform Executive Committee and Governor’s Office for how the BHA comes together based on this technical work, and then work on a detailed implementation plan in partnership with state agencies, stakeholders and consumers.

HMA is NOT the decision maker for the formation of the BHA, and nor is it implementing the BHA. The Behavioral Health Reform Executive Committee, as a collective, will provide a recommendation to and work with the Governor to inform his decision on the formation of the BHA. A plan for the creation and establishment of the BHA will be submitted to the General Assembly by November 1, 2021. 

Change management project dashboard
Who has HMA engaged in this work?

HMA has led a robust engagement process as part of Stage 1 and Stage 2 of this project to gather information from state personnel, stakeholders and consumers. Click here for a project dashboard highlighting elements of the robust change management work underway to build a behavioral health system that works for all Coloradans. 

State Agency Engagement
Used a tiered discovery process to engage leadership, subject matter experts and others within the following select state agencies:​

  • Colorado Department of Agriculture
  • Colorado Department of Education 
  • Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing
  • Colorado Department of Higher Education 
  • Colorado Department of Human Services
  • Colorado Department of Labor and Employment 
  • Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment
  • Colorado Department of Public Safety 
  • Colorado Department of Corrections
  • Colorado Department of Local Affairs 
  • Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies
  • Colorado Division of Veteran Affairs 
  • Colorado Judicial Branch
  • Colorado Workforce Development Council

HMA also utilized a number of data tools for quantitative data—supplementing and verifying accuracy with agency staff as needed.​

Stakeholder & Consumer Engagement
HMA has engaged various stakeholders and consumers via targeted focus groups and open forums including representatives from counties / local government, system advocates, hospitals, primary care, child advocates, Regional Accountable Entities (RAE), Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC), Managed Service Organizations (MSO) and Administrative Services Organizations (ASO), and consumers. A second open forum was conducted to connect directly with individuals, peers and family members with behavioral health lived experience. 

Learnings from Other States
HMA also interviewed six other states that have BHA structures to examine and understand lessons learned and identify potential BHA models that could serve as relevant structures for Colorado. States included Arizona, Indiana, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

State agencies, stakeholders and consumers will continue to be engaged throughout all stages of this project.

What’s happening now?

HMA recently completed interviews, targeted focus groups and an open forum with state agencies, stakeholders and consumers to discuss draft models for how the BHA could be formed to best serve Colordans. HMA crafted the draft models based on the dialogue and comprehensive research conducted during Stage 1 of this work.

HMA will continue to adapt and refine the models, including considering new models, based on the valuable input, and plans to identify a recommended solution this spring. While HMA aims to recommend a solution that addresses as many state agency, stakeholder and consumer needs as possible, the solution will not be able to solve for everything. HMA will provide the Behavioral Health Reform Executive Committee and Governor’s Office with direct and transparent pros and cons to the recommended solution so they can make an informed decision based on priorities while identifying challenges that still need addressing as the BHA adapts over time. 

Based on the final solutions, HMA will work on a detailed implementation plan in partnership with state agencies, stakeholders and consumers (more engagement opportunities to be announced). HMA will deliver the implementation plan in the summer of 2021.

How can I get involved?
This work benefits from your voice, ideas, questions and contributions.
  1. Access the latest info & resources: Bookmark this page and continue to check in for the latest information on the project and process.
  2. Share your thoughts: Submit your ideas, questions or concerns via the feedback form.
  3. Spread the word: Use the communication toolkit to share information about this work with your colleagues, partners and community.
  4. Stay informed on all Behavioral Health Reform efforts: Visit the broader Behavioral Health Reform page for updates including legislation, to sign up for the “Constructing Change” newsletter and to join a work group. There is additional work underway beyond the creation of a BHA.

HMA will be leading and presenting at a variety of meetings throughout this project. The following are a selection of presentations that might be of most interest to state agency staff, stakeholders and consumers.

Medicaid 101
This presentation includes an overview of Medicaid, the nation’s public health insurance program for people with low income. The presentation features information about its federal-state partnership, how it has evolved in recent years, and how it is structured in other states.

BHA Change Management Project Overview
This presentation includes an overview of HMA’s approach to this work, research and data collection with state agencies and stakeholder, the project timeline, and opportunities to engage in this work and access resources.

Additional presentations will be added throughout the project. Please reach out to if you are looking for a specific presentation or meeting resource.
More information & resources
Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for the most up to date FAQs addressing common questions and providing correct information, organized by topic. 

Toolkit Resources
We are continuing to develop new communication resources to help you share information about this work. The toolkit contains key messages, social media content, newsletter content, a populated slide deck and more. Click here to access the communication toolkit. Stay tuned for resources in Spanish! Not seeing what you need to help you communicate? Complete this form to share your feedback.

Resources for media

Please contact Lindsay Sandoval, Media Manager at the Colorado Department of Human Services Office of Behavioral Health for media-related questions and resources.

I still haven’t found what I’m looking for

We recognize this is a complex project and are here to help you find the information you need to engage in this work. Please email for additional support.