Health Innovations                                                                                    September 2017
Improving patients' lives with integrated care
September is national suicide prevention awareness month and the Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM) is committed to helping healthcare providers reduce the number of suicides in the state, which has the ninth highest suicide rate in the nation.

Listen to a discussion with Sarah Brummet, MA, JD, director of the Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention, about what’s being done to address this serious issue and how you can help. A few things we learned from our discussion: The words you use when referring to suicide are important; assumptions about who might be at risk can be dangerous; a commitment to honest discussions, effective screening and intervention make a difference.

The SIM initiative, which is funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, will help 400 primary care providers and four community mental health centers integrate behavioral and physical health in its four-year time frame. What this means: SIM is providing healthcare teams with resources they need to make a difference in the lives of patients.

“I learned that life doesn’t have to be this hard,” one patient said when asked how integrated care affected her life. Healthcare teams that ask patients about mental and physical health and help them identify healthy behaviors, improve health outcomes and quality of life.

You’ll hear more from this and other patients as we continue to engage healthcare consumers in our discussion about integrated care and alternative payment models.
SIM video highlights practice's journey to integrated care
Watch Glenn Madrid, MD, a SIM provider, explain his practice’s journey to integrate physical and behavioral health, and how SIM has helped Western Colorado Physician’s Group, a division of Primary Care Partners, progress along the continuum of integrated care. Please subscribe to SIM Soundcloud and YouTube channels to see all of our videos and podcasts, which help tell the SIM story.
SIM practices use small grants to gain expertise
Since November 2016, 11 SIM practices that received small grants have used funds to train staff in ways that improve staff expertise and patient experience. Learn how SIM practices have identified uniquely valuable programs that suit their unique needs by clicking the button below.
SIM practices progress with CQM reporting
SIM practices are required to report on physical and behavioral healthcare clinical quality measures (CQMs), and the second quarter of 2017 was the best yet in terms of data reporting and quality. During that time frame, 92% of active SIM primary care practice sites reported on the minimum required number of CQMs, an increase from 77% of sites in quarter 1 of 2017. These measures help practices track the health of patient populations, the effects of care team interventions, and can be used to help negotiate future contracts. Check the SIM data hub to learn more about how SIM is collecting and using data to evaluate the initiative. Listen to this podcast to hear SIM data experts talk about why CQMs are important. 
New customized provider education modules
Access short (18-minutes or less) training modules that deliver concise, current information customized for healthcare teams from vetted, reliable resources:

- Introduction to substance use disorders
- Psychotropic medications – Children and adolescents

You can also access six other SIM-funded modules that provide comprehensive, practical information about behavioral health integration in primary care practices. Use these modules in team meetings for educational purposes and relationship-building, which contributes to higher-quality patient care delivery. Sign-up for a free account using the registration code, "SIM" to access these modules.

The content of each training module will help care teams develop a unified communication plan, team goals and trusting relationships while gaining topic-specific knowledge, which lead to strong team performance, according to research.
RHCs connect providers with community resources
Regional Health Connectors (RHCs), a new workforce funded by SIM, improve coordination of local services to advance health. All RHCs are actively working throughout the state. Read a few examples of the work they’re doing here
Covering CO: 1 state, 2 days, a team of experts and the 2017 CHAS results
The Colorado Health Access Survey (CHAS) provides answers to timely questions, such as: How many of us have health insurance? How many of us can get healthcare when we need it? How many of us can afford that care? And because the answers are so important for all Coloradans, the Colorado Health Institute is sending a team of experts across the state to deliver the latest results, including new questions on access to behavioral health services that will inform SIM implementation and evaluation. Please join us in one of 15 towns Sept. 19 - Sept. 20. 
House bill would create behavioral health EHR demonstration program
Bipartisan legislation to encourage behavioral health providers to adopt electronic health records (EHR) was introduced in the House in July. Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Doris Matsui (D-CA) introduced their bill, H.R. 3331, which would task the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation with creating a demonstration project to incentivize the use of these EHR systems in various settings, including mental health and addiction treatment organizations. Read the full story.
Engage and discover webinar series
Join the National Resource Center’s Engage and Discover webinar on Meaningful Family Engagement from Early Childhood to High School on Sept. 20, 2017! Participants will learn why and how Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children's Health) and Safe Schools/Healthy Students grantees are advancing meaningful family engagement at the state and local levels. Click here to register. 
Access behavioral health training today
Topic: Mood and Anxiety Disorders: Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Commitment: Six weekly ECHO sessions held virtually, Thursdays from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. (MT)
Oct. 12 - Nov. 16

Audience: Primary care providers in Colorado

Cost: Free

Learn more and register today (space is limited):
Register for this free ECHO Colorado learning series
Topic: Pediatric Psychiatry: Managing and Treating in Primary Care

Audience: Pediatric Primary Care Providers in Colorado

Commitment: Six weekly ECHO sessions held virtually, Wednesdays from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. (MT) Oct. 25 - Dec. 6 (No session will be held Nov. 22 in honor of Thanksgiving)

Cost: Free

Learn More and Register today (space is limited):
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Suggested reading
September is National Suicide Prevention Month, with World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10. To those in the healthcare community and countless mental health and substance abuse allies, suicide prevention is a year-round mission. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for Americans and among the top five causes of death for those ages 10 to 54. Read this newsletter from SAMHSA for resources related to suicide prevention.
For those who have never struggled with clinical depression nor contemplated suicide, it may be impossible to imagine a place of such unbearable despair that the only solution in sight in the tunnel vision of depression is ending one’s life. Many survivors of suicide attempts eventually come to see that suicide is not the solution—that treatment is available and recovery is possible.
The project described was supported by Funding Opportunity Number CMS-1G1-14-001 from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM), a four-year initiative, is funded by up to $65 million from CMS. The content provided is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of HHS or any of its agencies.