Commitment to Community Cardiovascular Health Benefit for Firefighters
Colorado State Statute 14-172, outlines the importance of ensuring our firefighters are equipped with health benefits to specifically address understanding and maintaining optimal cardiovascular health. Our CORE program ensures our firefighters have access to critical testing outlined by statute 14-172. Please see the Colorado Firefighter Heart and Cancer Benefits Trust website for more in-depth information on how this program applies to you and your crew. You can also find information on reimbursement procedures and any grant funding available to your department.
We do our best to make this process easy and accessible. When you get your testing at our CSU facility in Fort Collins, CO, there are no extra fees. But if logistics make it difficult to come to us, we can come to you. The only catch is we do charge additional fees to cover our travel expenses and we need to make sure your facility can accommodate our testing procedures.
The On-Site Testing Requirements and Procedures document outlines all the details to help you make a determination if on-site testing will work for your department. We encourage you to work with neighboring fire agencies to organize cost-sharing strategies whenever possible.
Are you ready to get started?
To request a proposal or schedule testing please contact Tiffany Lipsey at firstname.lastname@example.org
Steps to Completing the CORE Screening
Whether you are an individual or are scheduling testing for your whole department, please email Tiffany Lipsey at email@example.com
What Tests do I Get in the CORE Screening?
The CORE screening includes the following tests:
- Resting 12-lead electrocardiogram or ECG
- Fasting glucose
- Fasting lipids
- Waist circumference
- Resting blood pressure
- Review of other risk factors including family and personal health history and smoking habits
Based on the results of the screenings, we will recommend any additional tests if necessary. We advise additional tests based on a physician’s interpretation of the ECG and individual risk factors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need additional tests?
Based on the results of the screenings, we will recommend any additional tests if necessary. We advise additional tests based on a physician’s interpretation of the ECG and the number of risk factors. If you need a follow-up, we refer you to your personal primary care physician. You are responsible for follow-up with your doctor.
Who has access to my test results?
This data is considered private health information and only the individual will have access to the results of the testing, NOT the department, with one exception. *If the ECG results show there is a condition that impacts your ability to safely perform your duties as a firefighter.
*An example would be if we found an undiagnosed heart issue like atrial fibrillation, we would need to contact someone at your department. This would likely mean you would be removed from on-duty status until you see a physician who can determine if/when you are able to return to duty based on firefighter job performance requirements.
What happens to the data once it is collected and results are sent out?
Each firefighter signs a consent form to allow or not allow the use of the collected data for research which protects the data. Our data is stored on paper and, unlike a medical records system that any healthy system employee can access, our system is only accessible to the Heart Disease Prevention Program staff approved to work in the program. Each firefighter is assigned a number that is not associated with any identifying information. With individual approval of consent for use, the data is added to the research database. The research database and procedures have been approved through our institutional review board, which has a mandatory annual review of the process. In the end, the collected data belongs to the firefighter.
We cannot use the data in any way that is not approved by the firefighter.
We cannot send the information to anyone without written consent from the firefighter.
You collect information on firefighter's family history, does this violate the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008?
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act is meant to eliminate any discrimination of access to health insurance and employment status based solely on genetic information. For the CORE testing program, providing any information on family history is optional because of GINA as identified in the Heart Trust form on this page. The Fire Department will not see any individual data collected from any firefighter. Therefore the Heart Trust form simply indicates that we reviewed pieces of information such as family history and smoking status in relation to the individuals’ risk for cardiovascular disease. No family history or genetic information will be shared with the department.
If a firefighter does not feel comfortable with answering questions related to family history, s/he can simply choose to opt-out of these questions. When an individual does not complete the family history portion of the testing, family history is counted as a risk factor. This occurs in other situations such as with individuals who are adopted and may not know their family history.
What information does the department get to see?
We also provide a general summary of the data collected from the whole department. The report does not provide any individual results nor does it indicate who has an abnormal level. The report includes a review of the physiological parameters to help inform the next steps for your department such as wellness programming.
How long does it take to get my results?
Physician interpretation of the ECG may take up to one week, so you can expect to get your results about two weeks after your screening.
How much does it cost to get the screening?
The cost for each individual firefighter is $50 in addition to travel costs.
Can I get a screening if I'm not a firefighter?
Yes, you can. Non-firefighters, such as spouses or community members, can also participate in the screening for $100.
Do I need documentation to get reimbursed?
We will also provide a completed verification form for each individual that the screening was performed as required by the State Statute to apply for benefits.
How is the Fire Department reimbursed from the Heart Trust?
The Heart Trust does not receive anything directly from the CORE program. Your department receives one form for each person evaluated that will indicate which tests were done and is signed by the cardiologist that reviews the 12 lead ECG. Your department will submit these forms to the Heart Trust for reimbursement.
Contact the Colorado Firefighter Heart and Cancer Benefits Trust to determine if your agency qualifies for reimbursement.