Colorado’s No Wrong Door System

The state of Colorado is aging at a fast pace. By 2050, the number of older adults aged 65 and over is expected to double to 1.7 million, and estimates suggest roughly 70 percent of these adults will need some type of long-term services and supports (LTSS). In short, LTSS help older adults perform daily activities essential to living that they may have difficulty doing on their own, such as grocery shopping, housekeeping, and personal care.

Colorado’s fragmented LTSS system makes it hard for older adults and their caregivers navigating these services. Often duplicative screening and eligibility determination processes make applying for LTSS confusing and frustrating for the consumer. This can lead to older adults and their caregivers making LTSS decisions based on incomplete and inaccurate information. 

No Wrong Door (NWD) System presents as a solution to this problem. Beginning as a federal collaborative initiative, many states have implemented their own NWD Systems. When implemented effectively, a NWD System simplifies access to LTSS for older adults and their caregivers, serving as an entry point for LTSS that is publicly administered and funded. 

Colorado completed the pilot for their NWD System in 2019, yet the project was not as successful as it could have been. Inadequate funding and implementation of key NWD elements led to an unsustainable system that made little difference in addressing the fragmented LTSS system in Colorado. Based on a number of best practices and improvements in other states, there are three key recommendations Colorado can implement to improve their NWD System:

  • Increase state NWD governance
  • Increase funding for Colorado’s No Wrong Door System
  • Expand public outreach and coordination with key referral services

As Colorado continues to age, it’s important older adults and their caregivers can access the LTSS they need to continue to live a high quality of life. Improving Colorado’s No Wrong Door System allows older adults and their caregivers to access LTSS in a simplified manner, allowing them to determine how they age in their community. 

To learn more, read the Bell’s latest brief below or click here to download your own copy.

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