John Bender, MD, MBA:
As past President of the Colorado Medical Society and past President of the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians, I had the honor of working with Colorado Representative Perry Buck on the landmark legislation, HB15-1029, which authorized telehealth services in Colorado.
As the sponsor of the telehealth bill, Perry successfully gathered support from both sides of the aisle, made convincing presentations in committee and persuasive arguments on the House floor.
The telehealth bill was important in Colorado because it allowed doctors to perform medical services by telephone, face time, skype and other virtual means. Telehealth was initially designed to help rural residents receive top quality medical care without being forced to leave their communities.
The benefits have been enormous here recently in Colorado. A serious concern with the outbreak of COVID-19 is having patients going to an emergency room or a doctor’s office and possibly infect other people.
Telehealth has allowed medical practitioners to address this concern by diagnosing and directing treatment without inconveniencing patients or risking the further infection of others.
Perry Buck has been an excellent advocate for rural healthcare in Colorado. Weld County has benefitted enormously from Perry’s passion, insight and experience.
I am a health insurance broker and financial advisor in Weld County. I have worked closely with Perry Buck in her role as a state legislator.
Perry has a passion for small business owners. She provides them with critical services for their employees. I have witnessed Perry’s skill as a legislator in passing critical healthcare legislation to help contain costs associated with employer health plans and at the same time, provide more choices for receiving care.
In 2017, Perry successfully sponsored the primary care legislation that secured a new model for delivering medical services in Colorado otherwise referred to as Direct Primary Care. Individual patients or employer groups can now pay one low monthly fee to a doctor’s office and get primary care when they need it.
Patients typically receive same day care, access to telehealth if necessary or more convenient, more face time with their physician, and are moved toward overall improved health rather than simply treating conditions. Practitioners benefit by having a stable cash flow and avoid filing claims with insurance companies or government agencies.
Colorado is now home to ten percent of the direct primary care clinics in the country. As a pioneer in this area, Perry’s work has impacted the delivery of medical services across America.
Perry Buck works hard and is smart. She gets along well with people and finds common ground to get things done.
I have a business to run and I don’t appreciate politicians who have petty and uncooperative attitudes. I want to thank Perry for the positive contributions she has made in the legislature and to our great State.
I write to commend State Representative Perry Buck for her leadership on health care issues in the Colorado legislature. For the past several years, Perry sponsored bills to further the economic and wellbeing of rural areas by increasing medical capacity and the number of practitioners serving in rural communities.
As designed, the program incentivizes rural primary care preceptors, doctors, nurses, and dentists who mentor students interested in practicing medicine in rural areas. The goal of this program is to ultimately increase the number of primary care providers in rural Colorado.
These health care professionals provide on-site clinical education and nurture students’ professional development.
Colorado is only the third state in the country to adopt this innovative program. Perry Buck has shown great insight in promoting this private sector solution to address challenges faced in rural health care.
As we confront COVID-19 and other diseases it is comforting to know leaders like Perry Buck are willing to seek out experts, craft innovative programs, and to be bold enough to collaboratively bring together consensus to lead in these unprecedented healthcare times. Perry unites other policy makers because she listens and focuses on practical, common ground solutions.
Perry’s leadership with the preceptor bill as well as sponsorship of bills on telehealth medicine and interstate compacts have today strengthened our current and future Colorado healthcare workforce. These efforts have supported healthcare providers in their mission to keep all areas of Colorado safe.
Perry will be sorely missed when she leaves the legislature at the end of this year. Your hard work has made a real difference for those of us who live in rural communities.
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, 2017 Legislator of the Year, State of Colorado
Colorado Medical Society Legislative Award, 2017
HB18-1300 Bachelor Nursing Completion Degree Local District College
Perry sponsored legislation that granted authority for local district or community colleges to provide a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing as a completion degree to students who have or are pursuing an associate degree in nursing.
HB17-1115 Direct Primary Health Care Services
Perry sponsored the Direct Primary Health Care Services Act that deregulated direct primary health care agreements so that the division of insurance would not interfere in the patient doctor relationship.
HB17-1094 Telehealth Coverage Under Health Benefit Plans
Perry sponsored legislation to allow health benefit plans to expand coverage of health care services delivered via telehealth.
HB16-1047 Interstate Medical Licensure Compact
Perry sponsored the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact which established the adoption of an interstate compact to allow physicians to become licensed in multiple states through an expedited licensure process.
HB 16-1142 Rural & Frontier Health Care Preceptor Tax Credit
Perry sponsored a bill to create a credit for the Colorado state income tax for rural primary care preceptors training students matriculating at Colorado institutions of higher education.
HB15- 1029 Health Care Delivery Via Telemedicine Statewide
Perry sponsored the Health Care Delivery Via Telemedicine Act that authorized coverage under a health benefit plan for health care services delivered through telehealth in any area of the state of Colorado.
HB15-1340 Extend Multiple Sclerosis Check-off
The Colorado multiple sclerosis fund voluntary contribution was scheduled to expire on the state income tax return form on January 1, 2017. Perry sponsored legislation to extend by 5 years the period during which state income tax return forms include a line that allows an individual taxpayer to make a voluntary contribution to the Colorado multiple sclerosis fund.