SIM Office Announces First Cohort of Primary Care Practices
To view the practices participating in the first cohort, please visit:

The Colorado SIM Office is pleased to announce the first cohort of primary care practices selected to participate in practice transformation activities through the SIM initiative. First cohort practices will play an integral role in achieving Colorado SIM's goal of providing access to integrated physical and behavioral health care services in coordinated systems, with value-based payment structures, for 80 percent of Colorado residents by 2019. By participating in SIM, practices will be provided with a comprehensive practice transformation support package as well as the opportunity to participate in alternative payment models, the goals of which are to simultaneously improve patient outcomes while promoting greater return on investment.

Over the next two years, primary care practices in the first cohort will work toward adopting practice milestones that relate to the Colorado Framework for Whole Person Care. Each practice will work with a Practice Facilitator, provided through one of the approved Practice Transformation Organizations, to design and implement a practice improvement plan that outlines a pathway toward greater integration of care based on the practice's unique strengths and needs. Additionally, practices have committed to reporting their progress toward a common set of clinical quality measures and will be provided with a Clinical Health Information Technology Advisor to assist in building practice data capacity. The University of Colorado is providing leadership and oversight for practice transformation activities undertaken by the SIM practices and will offer opportunities for provider education, convene bi-annual collaborative learning sessions, and provide technical assistance to help support practice progress.

The state's major health plans have agreed to provide selected SIM-participating primary care practices in their networks with enhanced, value-based payments. Each practice in the first cohort will be supported by at least one payer through alternative payment models that align with categories of the Health Care Payment and Learning Action Network (HCPLAN) Alternative Payment Model Framework. This shift away from fee-for-service to value-based payment models will support practices as they transition towards integrated care delivery models and ensure that the transformation activities begun under SIM are sustainable beyond the term of the award. Furthermore, practices will be eligible to receive participation payments of up to $5,000 as well as competitive small grants disbursed through the SIM Practice Transformation Fund, consisting of approximately $3 million of SIM funds and a generous $3 million grant from The Colorado Health Foundation, to help offset the initial costs of integrating care.

The selection process for the first cohort practices was extremely competitive, with 188 practices applying for 100 spots. Practices were selected by the SIM Office based on the recommendations of a panel of 18 expert reviewers as well as characteristics that would ensure a diverse cohort. The cohort reflects a variety of practices, including pediatric practices, residency programs, school-based health centers, and independent practices as well as those affiliated with various health systems. The SIM Office encourages primary care practices that were not selected for the first cohort to apply for cohorts two or three of SIM, expected to begin in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

The launch of the first cohort represents a truly unique partnership between providers, foundations, academic institutions, public and private insurers, and government agencies. The SIM Office is extremely thankful to all partners who have made this work possible and looks forward to working together to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation.

Please note that the page reflects the 95 practices that have signed practice participation agreements. Another five practices have been accepted into the first SIM cohort and will be posted to the site as soon as agreements are in place.  
For more information on SIM practice transformation efforts, and to view the list of practices participating in cohort 1:
The project described was supported by Funding Opportunity Number CMS-1G1-14-001 from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The contents provided are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS or any of its agencies.