Health Innovations                                                                                  December 2017
Help champion healthcare innovators
As the year draws to a close, the SIM team continues to recruit for its third and final cohort of practices and celebrate the achievements made by cohorts 1 and 2 practices that are integrating behavioral and physical health. SIM data shows that SIM practices are improving their ability to submit clinical quality measures and their confidence in that data, the positive effects integrated care has on patient outcomes and community work that addresses mental health stigma, social determinants of health and more.

SIM, an initiative funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to help practices succeed in alternative payment models, has a special focus on integrated care in Colorado because state healthcare professionals recognize its intrinsic value to improving patient health and lowering costs. This was illustrated by the 2017 Colorado Health Access Survey , which highlights the importance of providing behavioral health in primary care settings. The SIM initiative helps ensure that providers in primary care settings have the resources they need to identify and address the whole-person when it comes to healthcare.

The SIM initiative helps ensure that providers have the resources they need to identify and address the whole-person when it comes to healthcare. The value of delivering whole-person approach was demonstrated during the 2017 Hot Issues in Health Conference in a series of plays that illustrated the ways in which integrated care lead to better patient experience and care as well as follow-up.

SIM practices invest a lot of time and energy to move along the continuum of integrated care, and that work is paying off. The team recognizes and appreciates the work stakeholders invest in the SIM initiative. We have created a dynamic network of healthcare innovators, which includes SIM practices, community mental health centers, local public health agencies, regional health connectors, practice coaches, patients and the list continues. Our successes would not have been possible without you. We wish you, your colleagues, family and friends a healthy, happy holiday season and look forward to working with you in 2018!
Executive support for SIM, TCPi practices
Representatives from two practices engaged in SIM and the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPi), which is part of the SIM umbrella, met with Governor John Hickenlooper, who recognized their work to lead practice transformation efforts in the state. The governor acknowledged the work entailed in these two, federally funded initiatives, and noted the importance of having providers guide the way to a better healthcare delivery system. Click here to read the full article .
Help us tell the SIM story and encourage providers to apply
The third and final application to participate in SIM is open through Jan. 10. Practices are encouraged to apply for this governor’s office initiative, and we ask for your help to ensure that all primary care practice representatives are aware of this valuable opportunity to help them integrate behavioral and physical health and test alternative payment models. Please share the press release in all of your communication channels and help us spread the word. Visit the SIM cohort-3 web page for more information including a provider video about his practice's experience in SIM.
RHCs are improving the health of Coloradans
Communities across Colorado are doing great work to improve health. Regional health connectors (RHCs) are a new workforce that aligns and coordinates the work of healthcare, government, and community organizations so people can access what they need to be healthy wherever they live.
RHCs implement three community-driven projects that improve healthy eating, active living, mental health and wellbeing, and access to care. Check out what’s happening in your region , and contact the RHC to get involved in their projects and learn what an RHC can do for you.
Share input on SIM telehealth/eConsult work
The SIM team, in partnership with Health First Colorado (Medicaid), released a survey to gather information from providers, payers, and the broader healthcare community about the use of telehealth and e-consults to improve patient access to care and to identify barriers to the use of this technology. This information will be used to bolster sustainability of SIM's telehealth efforts. The survey will be open until Jan. 17, 2018. Contact Laurel Broten ( with questions. 
SIM small grants update for cohort 2
The SIM small grants applicati on for cohort-2 practices will be open Dec. 15 on the SIM website (Note: Link will not be available before Dec. 15) . Get guidance on how to write a successful proposal during a Jan. 3 webinar from 12:15 - 1:15. Click here to register for the webinar, check out the latest SIM podcast about the small grants program, tune in to the on-demand webinar about the application process, and contact Meg Quiat, SIM small grants administrator, ( ) with questions.
QPP fast facts in 5 minutes
The Quality Payment Program (QPP) will begin Jan. 1, 2018, under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). This program is an effort to drive clinician engagement and enhance the quality, cost effectiveness and health of the population. The Colorado QPP Coalition has been formed to help clinicians and their practice teams successfully transition to the new program. As part of this work, the Colorado QPP Coalition releases its Fast facts in 5 minutes each month. For more information visit the Colorado QPP website and stay tuned to the SIM newsletter for more updates.  
Participate in the Medicaid APM survey
The Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) is moving forward with implementation of an alternative payment model for primary care (APM). A survey to select measures in the model is open and available on the HCPF website, where you’ll find pre-survey instructions, links to resources including the APM Survival Guide, and a short video demonstrating how to use the APM model. Please take the survey before it closes on Jan. 31, 2018.
Bridging the gap for cancer survivors: Free education
Project ECHO (Extension for Community Health Outcomes) Colorado provides health professionals and those whose work influences health a community for experts and peers to share knowledge and experience using technology, not proximity, to connect. There are several sessions from which to choose, including this one that focuses on defining cancer survivorship, discussing best practices, supporting emotional and social changes, and addressing the needs of patients after treatment.

There are four weekly ECHO sessions held virtually from Jan. 11 to Feb. 1, 2018, for care coordinators (including non-licensed and licensed) in primary care who work with patients after they receive cancer treatment. Click here for more information and to register before Jan. 4.
Important information about Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+)
As you may know, if Congress does not renew federal funding, CHP+ in Colorado will end Jan. 31, 2018. CHP+ is low-cost public health insurance for children and pregnant women who earn too much to qualify for Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid Program.) Congress can pass a law at any time to renew federal funding for CHP+, but there is no guarantee that they will.
As of today, there are no changes to CHP+ benefits, eligibility or enrollment.
  • CHP+ members should continue to use their benefits.
  • CHP+ providers should continue to make and keep appointments with the CHP+ members they serve.
  • Enrollment of CHP+ members will continue through Jan. 31, 2018.

For the latest updates on the CHP+ program visit  and subscribe to the Future of CHP+ newsletter .
The road to affordability: Community collaborations reduce costs, improve care
In the latest post in Health Affairs’ Diffusion of Innovation series, Elizabeth Mitchell, CEO of the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement, explores the issue of healthcare costs. She argues that “the only sustainable and feasible way to reduce and slow increasing healthcare costs is to restructure healthcare delivery and payment systems from the bottom up—at the community level—with all stakeholders making needed changes, then diffusing the lessons they’ve learned.” Read the full post here
New opioid overdose prevention services
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released toolkits for opioid overdose prevention for healthcare providers, communities, and local governments to help develop practices and policies to help prevent opioid-related overdoses and deaths. Reports for community members, prescribers, patients and families, and those recovering from opioid overdose are available here .
LPHAs are changing the discussion around mental health
The Montrose County Health and Human Resources (MCHHR) is using SIM funding to educate its community about mental health, addictions and those in crisis. By offering free youth mental health first aid classes MCHHR hopes to change the discussion around mental health and save lives. Read more
Share your thoughts and help us improve our website
We are committed to making the SIM website as efficient and useful as possible, and are interested in hearing from you. Please click here to participate in a brief two-minute survey and help us improve the website.
Suggested reading
The toolkit for community conversations about mental health contains briefs, guides, and other resources designed to help people promote mental health and access to treatment and recovery services within their communities.
Attempted suicides, drug overdoses, cutting and other types of self-injury have increased substantially in girls, according to a 15-year study. Some mental health experts attribute the increase to cyberbullying and substance use.
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.