C.R.S. Section 27-50-101

As used in this article 50, unless the context otherwise requires:


“Behavioral health” refers to an individual’s mental and emotional well-being and actions that affect an individual’s overall wellness. Behavioral health issues and disorders include substance use disorders, mental health disorders, serious psychological distress, serious mental disturbance, and suicide and range from unhealthy stress or subclinical conditions to diagnosable and treatable diseases. “Behavioral health” also describes service systems that encompass promotion of emotional health and prevention and treatment services for mental health disorders and substance use disorders.


“Behavioral health administration” or “BHA” means the behavioral health administration established in section 27-50-102.


“Behavioral health disorder” means an alcohol use disorder, a mental health disorder, or a substance use disorder.


“Behavioral health entity” means a facility or provider organization engaged in providing community-based health services, which may include services for a behavioral health disorder but does not include detention and commitment facilities operated by the division of youth services within the department of human services or services provided by a licensed or certified mental health-care provider under the provider’s individual professional practice act on the provider’s own premises.


“Behavioral health program” means the specific services and administration of those services by a behavioral health provider.


“Behavioral health provider” means a recovery community organization as defined in section 27-80-126, a recovery support services organization as defined in section 27-60-108, or a licensed organization or professional providing diagnostic, therapeutic, or psychological services for behavioral health conditions. Behavioral health providers include a residential child care facility, as defined in section 26-6-903 (29), and a federally qualified health center.


“Behavioral health safety net provider” means comprehensive community behavioral health providers and essential behavioral health safety net providers. A community mental health center pursuant to 42 U.S.C. sec. 300x-2(c) and that is licensed as a behavioral health entity may apply to be approved as a comprehensive community behavioral health provider, an essential behavioral health safety net provider, or both.


“Behavioral health safety net services” means the specific behavioral health services for children, youth, and adults that must be provided statewide pursuant to part 3 of this article 50.


“Boarding” means when a child or youth under twenty-one years of age has been waiting longer than twelve hours to be placed in an appropriate treatment setting after being clinically assessed and determined to be in need of inpatient psychiatric treatment and received a determination from a licensed provider of medical stability without the need for urgent medical assessment or hospitalization for a physical condition.


“Commissioner” means the commissioner of the behavioral health administration appointed pursuant to section 27-50-103.


“Community-based” means outside of a hospital, psychiatric hospital, detention and commitment facility operated by the division of youth services within the department of human services, or nursing home.


“Comprehensive community behavioral health provider” means a licensed behavioral health entity or behavioral health provider approved by the behavioral health administration to provide care coordination and the following behavioral health safety net services, either directly or through formal agreements with behavioral health providers in the community or region:


Emergency and crisis behavioral health services;


Mental health and substance use outpatient services;


Behavioral health high-intensity outpatient services;


Care management;


Outreach, education, and engagement services;


Mental health and substance use recovery supports;




Outpatient competency restoration; and


Screening, assessment, and diagnosis, including risk assessment, crisis planning, and monitoring to key health indicators.


“Department” means the department of human services created pursuant to section 26-1-105.


“Essential behavioral health safety net provider” means a licensed behavioral health entity or behavioral health provider approved by the behavioral health administration to provide care coordination and at least one of the following behavioral health safety net services:


Emergency or crisis behavioral health services;


Behavioral health outpatient services;


Behavioral health high-intensity outpatient services;


Behavioral health residential services;


Withdrawal management services;


Behavioral health inpatient services;


Integrated care services;


Hospital alternatives; or


Additional services that the behavioral health administration determines are necessary in a region or throughout the state.


“Extended stay” means when a child or youth under twenty-one years of age has been waiting longer than seventy-two hours to be discharged from an acute level of inpatient psychiatric care to a less intensive or less restrictive clinically appropriate level of psychiatric care, including a discharge home or to a home-like setting with behavioral health supports.


“Health information organization network” has the same meaning as defined in section 25-3.5-103 (8.5).


“Mental health disorder” means one or more substantial disorders of the cognitive, volitional, or emotional processes that grossly impairs judgment or capacity to recognize reality or to control behavior.


“Primary prevention” means activities and strategies used to intervene before health effects occur through measures that prevent the onset of addiction, delay initial use of alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco, deter the use of illegal drugs, and promote health and wellness.


Intentionally left blank —Ed.


“Priority populations” means people who are:


Uninsured, underinsured, medicaid-eligible, publicly insured, or whose income is below thresholds established by the BHA; and


Presenting with acute or chronic behavioral health needs, including but not limited to individuals who have been determined incompetent to stand trial, adults with serious mental illness, and children and youth with serious emotional disturbance.


The BHA shall further identify underserved populations meeting the criteria of subsection (17)(a) of this section for specific prioritization on a regional or statewide basis based on health equity data, including but not limited to people experiencing or at risk of homelessness; children and youth at risk of out-of-home placement and their parents; people involved with the criminal or juvenile justice system; people of color; American Indians; Alaska natives; veterans; people who are pregnant; people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer or questioning; and individuals with disabilities as defined by the federal “Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990”, 42 U.S.C. sec. 12101 et seq., as amended. The BHA shall also consider input directly from behavioral health providers that are culturally and linguistically representative of the populations they serve. The BHA shall consider recommendations from the behavioral health administrative services organizations, the advisory council, and regional subcommittees in identifying subpopulations.


Intentionally left blank —Ed.


“State agency” means any state department, state office, or state division in Colorado that administers a behavioral health program.


“State agency” does not include the judicial branch of state government.


“State board” means the state board of human services created pursuant to section 26-1-107.


“Substance use disorder” means a chronic relapsing brain disease, characterized by recurrent use of alcohol, drugs, or both, causing clinically significant impairment, including health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home.


“Substance use disorder program” means a program for the detoxification, withdrawal, maintenance, or treatment of a person with a substance use disorder.

Source: Section 27-50-101 — Definitions, https://leg.­colorado.­gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-27.­pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).

Behavioral health administration - creation - coordination - health oversight agency
Behavioral health commissioner - appointment - powers, duties, and functions - subdivisions of the BHA
Powers and duties of the commissioner - rules
Administration of behavioral health programs - state plan - sole mental health authority - gifts, grants, or donations
Transfer of functions
State board of human services - rules
Systemwide behavioral health grievance system
Behavioral health system monitoring - capacity - safety net performance
Formal agreements - state agencies and tribal governments
Universal contracting provisions - requirements
Behavioral health safety net system implementation
Requirement to serve priority populations - screening and triage for individuals in need of behavioral health services - referrals
Essential behavioral health safety net providers - approval to serve limited priority populations
Behavioral health safety net provider network - incentives - preferred status - rules
Regional behavioral health administrative services organizations - establishment
Behavioral health administrative services organizations - application - designation - denial - revocation
Behavioral health administrative services organizations - contract requirements - individual access - care coordination
Care coordination - responsibilities of behavioral health administrative services organizations - coordination with managed care entities
Behavioral health administrative services organizations - stakeholder input - report - rules
Behavioral health entities - license required - criminal and civil penalties
Behavioral health entities - minimum standard - rules
Licenses - application - inspection - issuance
License fees - rules
License - denial - suspension - revocation
Behavioral health licensing cash fund - creation
Employee and contracted service provider - criminal history record check
Purchase of services by courts, counties, municipalities, school districts, and other political subdivisions
Behavioral health entities - consumer information - reporting - release - rules
Department of health care policy and financing - behavioral health network standards
Division of insurance behavioral health network standards
State agency behavioral health network and program standards
Behavioral health administration advisory council - creation
Advisory council - membership
Advisory council - regional subcommittees - subcommittees - working groups
Veteran suicide prevention pilot program - rules - report - definitions - repeal
Study of health effects of felonizing fentanyl possession - repeal
Technical assistance to jails - appropriation - repeal
Short title
Sixth through twelfth grade mental health screening program - created - rules
Green check means up to date. Up to date

Current through Fall 2024

§ 27-50-101’s source at colorado​.gov