Health Innovations                                                                                 September 2018
SIM investments pave the way for sustainable, integrated care
September is suicide prevention awareness month, and the Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM) is touting work across the state to increase access to integrated behavioral and physical health or whole-person care. SIM investments in practices, community mental health centers, behavioral health transformation collaboratives, local public health agencies and regional health connectors are making a difference. Some of this investment has been focused on reducing mental health stigma, which prevents some people from seeking the help they need. National statistics show that one in five Americans has a mental health condition. Boys and men are a particularly vulnerable population when it comes to suicide risk, according to data referenced in the SIM call-to-action report that was led by the SIM population health workgroup. The report, which outlines a 10-year action plan to improve mental health for boys and men, was discussed during the Public Health in the Rockies conference last month (pictured above) and during the Medical Home Community Forum on Sept. 11. A key message shared during both presentations is "Your help is needed." Please answer this call-to-action and become part of the solution. Listen to a short podcast with population health leaders in the state and can get involved. Read more online.
SIM pediatric practice creates strong patient connections
Get details on how Western Colorado Pediatric Associates (WCPA) is connecting parents with community resources to improve patient care using SIM small grant funds in the latest SIM podcast . WCPA created a weekly parent resource group that the community calls ‘the Parent Help Desk’ that has been well attended since its inception 18 months ago. Follow SIM’s SoundCloud account to catch every episode of Innovation Insights, and check our news and media web page for SIM videos, podcasts, articles and more. 
eCQM solution moves into second phase
The application for phase 2 of the SIM team’s electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) solution is open. SIM practices are encouraged to apply to use this solution, which helps SIM practices extract eCQMs once and report them to several, approved entities. The first application was published in May and there was significant interest from SIM practice teams. The first phase includes 11 practices and 90 providers, and the second phase will include 190 practices. Apply today:

This eCQM solution is intended to improve a practice's ability to report eCQMs and reduce administrative reporting burden, which is frequently cited as a significant barrier to succeeding with alternative payment models. Learn more about this eCQM solution in a SIM podcast, and read about the technology that fuels the solution.
Help define projects for Colorado's health IT roadmap
You can help define projects for Colorado’s Health Information Technology Roadmap. Complete this survey today and ensure that your voice is heard. It takes less than five minutes to complete.

The Advancing Health Information Exchange Initiative workgroup, which will help advance data sharing and health information exchange (HIE) capabilities across Colorado, invites survey participation to help determine the state’s highest priority for data sharing, HIEs and to help define the direction for Roadmap projects. The survey closes at 5 PM (MDT) Sept. 14. 
Examples of success: RHCs connect communities, providers
The second Health and Wellness Expo will be held Sept. 14
(4 – 8 PM) at the College View Community Center, 2525 S. Decatur Street, Denver, with more than 40 community partners who will share health-related resources, including health screenings. Attend the event to see how regional health connectors (RHCs), a new workforce that is partially funded by SIM, is helping connect health care providers with community resources to improve patient health. This event was organized by the RHCs and will also feature a free farmer's market, dinner, two muralists, entertainment and more.  Click here for more information about the event.
Healthy Community Award application is open
The Colorado Office of Economic Development and LiveWell Colorado have published the application for the Governor’s Healthy Community Award, which recognizes a community making great strides toward community wellness while influencing economic vitality. Applications are due on Oct. 19 via the online portal: (Health & Wellness tab). The Governor’s Healthy Community award is available to all communities such as a district, township, town, city or county.

The winner will be recognized at the LiveWell Colorado’s HEAL Summit on Nov. 30. Visit for more information and contact Jamie Hackbarth ( with questions.
SIM practices highlighted in consumer media
Health care reform takes time and effort, and SIM providers are getting the media coverage they deserve for integrating behavioral and physical health care to improve patient outcomes and reduce or avoid unnecessary costs. These practices have been dubbed "health care innovators" by Governor Hickenlooper and are paving the way for future success with alternative payment models. Read these stories and other SIM media coverage in the new  SIM newsroom
The Innovators Society focuses on mental health
The Community First Foundation announced the next cohort of nonprofit innovators to participate in The Innovators Society, an accelerator experience powered by the Community First Foundation that invests in promising nonprofit innovations to increase awareness and change perceptions of mental health. The inaugural year focused on early childhood mental wellness, improving systems and changing public perceptions. This year, the focus is on reducing the stigma associated with mental health and mental illness. Click here to read more
Register for regional opioid crises response forums
The Office of Behavioral Health will host the following regional opioid crisis response forums across the state from mid-September through October: Grand Junction (Sept. 12), Alamosa (Sept. 20), Pueblo (Oct. 11) and Loveland (Oct. 24). These forums will provide an overview of opioid use disorder, medication-assisted treatment and the opioid crisis with specifics on treatment gaps using current data. Learn more and register
RHCs bring health care full circle
Most of what affects our health happens outside the doctor’s office, which is one of the reasons why regional health connectors, a workforce partially funded by SIM, are focused on connecting health care providers with community resources. Social, environmental and behavioral factors, such as adequate housing, food access and violence all influence individual and community health. This means that health care providers are increasingly looking outside their clinics to address these social determinants of health. Click here to learn more about the importance of clinical-community linkages in this article about RHCs, a workforce that is managed by the Colorado Health Institute and the Trailhead Institute. 
Integrated Behavioral Health Best Practices Training Symposium
The Office of Behavioral Health and the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work, will host an all-day Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) Best Practices Training Symposium in the University of Denver's Craig Hall on Friday, November 2, 2018. Participation in this training, which is funded by SIM, will provide opportunities to acquire best practice skills for highly performing integrated care teams. Attendees will participate in small-group, interactive and interprofessional experiential learning activities. Registration information will be coming soon. Please click here for more information.
ECHO to support diagnosis and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders in primary care
Proper identification is as important as proper treatment for a variety of illnesses including major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, persistent depressive disorder, cyclothymia and seasonal affective disorder, which will be the focus of a free, six-week series. Care team members will learn how to manage common behavioral health conditions that present in primary care settings and hear about appropriate screening tools for primary care settings, differential diagnoses, pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments and community/referral resources.  Learn more and register here
Youth Mental Health: Call for application
The National Council announced a two-year learning opportunity to reduce the effects of anxiety, depression and suicide among underserved youth ages 10 to 24. The need is real. One in five children experience a mental illness each year and 20% of teens struggle with depression before they reach adulthood, according to the National Council. Learn how you can help and apply by 11:59 PM EST on Friday, Oct. 5.

The SIM initiative’s call-to-action report includes boys and men as the targeted audience for this 10-year roadmap to improve mental health in Colorado. Listen to a short podcast to learn more about the report, which you can read here
Health care entrepreneurs vie for prize
Six health care companies will pitch their ideas during the 2018 Prime Health Challenge Oct. 11. Each innovator will attempt to convince a panel of health plans and health care providers to pilot his or her company’s solution. The  Colorado Health Foundation will award three of the startups a share of $150,000 to fund their pilots at the end of the competition.
“This year’s finalists represent the unique needs of Colorado’s underserved population,” said Nicole McNew, executive director of  Prime Health. “They also highlight the vast opportunities that exist for entrepreneurs to develop, pilot and innovate health technology solutions.”

The challenge will be held at EXDO Event Center in RiNo, and $15 tickets are available:
Suggested reading
The Bridges Program is designed to put a mental health professional in courthouses to help people with mental health issues navigate the criminal justice system.
September is National Recovery Month. We celebrate the millions of Americans who are living their lives in recovery from mental and substance use disorders and honor those who work to make recovery possible.
The plan focuses on three big goals: Preventing substance misuse, improving access to treatment and retention, and reducing harm.
The article documents positive outcomes from the Massachusetts Project LAUNCH model to reduce child social emotional risks and challenging behavior as well as parental stress and depression. 
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.