Health Innovations                                                                                 July 2018
The path forward: Expanding access, sustaining integration
Time flies! July, which is  National Minority Mental Health Month ,  marks the beginning of the fourth and final year for the Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM). This federally funded, governor’s office initiative is helping hundreds of primary care practices and four com munity mental health centers integrate care and succeed with alternative payment models. And with the launch of cohort-3 last month, the team is expanding access to integrated or whole-person care that improves health outcomes and reduces or avoids unnecessary health care costs.

Pakhi Chaudhuri, MD, owner of Pediatric Associates of Durango, a SIM cohort-2 practice, described her behavioral health specialist as “a Christmas miracle” during a recent visit. “I don’t know how we’ve done medicine without her,” she added.

Tune in to the SIM podcast series to hear patients and health care teams describe the value of integrated care and watch for articles about SIM practices as the team continues to spread the word about this practice transformation work and how it enhances patient experience and health . One example: Depression screening across SIM practices increased from 49% to about 56% of eligible patients with documented follow-up plans when screenings were positive between 2016 and 2017. 

Follow the SIM team on social channels for news and updates as we will take a summer hiatus from the newsletter in August. 
RHCs bring community resources full circle
Locally-based, community-driven work is essential to the success of  regional health connectors  (RHCs), a new workforce that SIM helped fund in Colorado. Hear how one RHC turned an idea for a local farmer’s market into a health and wellness expo that attracted more than 37 community health care providers and served more than 300 people in the latest SIM podcast .
SIM small grants application open soon
T he application for Colorado SIM cohort-3 practice small grants of up to $40,000 will be released July 13. This was a highly competitive process for cohort-2 practices and the SIM team encourages cohort-3 team members to start preparing to ensure their applications address all requirements and guidelines outlined in the application. For context, 107 cohort-2 practices applied for small grants and 38 practices were funded. Get the timeline for the cohort-3 small grants application, an updated timeline and additional information:  and send questions to Megan Comer, SIM small grants administrator:
Leading the nation: Health navigators improve access to care
Colorado has established the first competency-based statewide registry in the nation for health navigators, an emerging workforce that increases patient access to health care, improves health outcomes and equity and reduces health care costs.
The first 14 health navigators to pass a comprehensive competency assessment developed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment were added to the Colorado Health Navigator Registry earlier this month.

Get more information on the health navigator workforce development website, view a health navigator video, check out the health navigator registry and read the newest survey on integrating these navigators into health care teams.
Recommendations for sustaining integrated care
On February 23, 2018, the Integrated Behavioral Health Consortium reconvened at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work and developed six recommendations for sustainability of integrated behavioral health care. The meeting was sponsored by SIM and the Graduate School of Social Work. Workforce issues dominated the agenda with an emphasis on the unique needs of rural communities in Colorado, training and education related to special populations and sustainability efforts for integrated behavioral health. Speakers were selected for their expertise to help illuminate these issues and guide the discussions, which led to six recommendations for integrated behavioral health stakeholders. A report released this week includes more detail .
Colorado practices highlighted on national stage
Three exemplar Transforming Clinical Practice initiative (TCPi) representatives will participate on the National Expert Panel hosted by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Aug. 1-3 and will discuss their transformation work. The stories of practice successes and challenges will be shared with peer organizations so that they can be leveraged to help other practices and to identify best practices. The following Colorado physicians will present: Dr. Lisa Lewis, Sustaina Center for Women; Dr. Scott Mann, Denver Health Ear, Nose and Throat; Dr. Alan Kimura, Colorado Retina Associates. 
Investing in patient-family engagement improves morale, productivity for TCPi practice
One of the goals for Southwest Retinae Consultants, Durango, during its participation in TCPi, a federally funded, governor’s office initiative, is to enhance patient-family engagement efforts and to engage more fully in community events. Learn how these efforts have improved team morale and enhanced productivity. 
Helping practices succeed with APMs
SIM practices have access to Stratus™, a claims data aggregation tool that helps them access patient- and practice-level data in one portal across participating payers. It saves time and makes it easier to coordinate patient care. A Stratus™ training will be held July 25 in Denver for SIM practices and practice transformation organizations. This is an opportunity to learn how to use Stratus™ to turn data into actionable information regardless of your level of experience with the tool. Contact Elizabeth Mattes ( ), SIM data management specialist, with questions and visit  for training resources and additional information. 
RHCs influence care in Colorado
RHCs, a new workforce that is partially funded by SIM, are helping connect providers with community resources that make a difference. In a recent baseline assessment of SIM cohort-2 practices, 89% practice representatives said they would recommend their RHCs to colleagues. One example of this type of community resource that RHCs help organize and communicate: The St. Joseph Hospital mobile mammography van will offer screenings July 20 from 8:30 AM – 3:20 PM at Buchanan Park Recreation Center (32003 Ellingwood Trail, Evergreen, Colo., 80439). Mammograms are an important health screening for women age 40 and older. They prevent cancer and save lives by detecting the disease as early as possible. Statistics show that finding breast cancer early reduces a woman’s risk of dying from the disease by 25-30%. Call 303-689-4595 to reserve appointments and help spread the word.
Cancer genetics event: Why it matters to primary care
Do you need more clinicians to keep up with increased demand for your services? Would you like to expand services, but need more staff? Do you struggle to retain clinicians? The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) invites health care provider organizations to become National Health Service Corps (NHSC)-approved sites. Get more information about how the NHSC helps provider organizations recruit and retain qualified health care providers through its loan repayment program. The 2018 NHSC site application cycle is open until Aug. 14 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Contact your HRSA NHSC Division of Regional Operations Point of Contact with questions. Learn More and Apply.
Get trained: The Collaborate Care Model
Primary care teams can shape mental health care delivery in the rapidly evolving health care reform landscape using integrated care approaches. Using this model, primary care providers collaborate on the management of patients with psychiatrists. It’s an effective way to provide access to psychiatry for patients, who can remain under the care of their trusted primary care providers. The workshop includes a discussion of the compensation model for psychiatrists and primary care providers to provide collaborative care.  Register  for the training event below, intended for primary care providers, psychiatrists, and clinicians, and share this   flier  with practices.
Western Slope Training: Friday, July 20, 2018, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM, Double Tree - 743 Horizon Drive Grand Junction, CO 81506.  
Apply for practice improvement scholarship
The  H. Winter Griffith Resident Scholarship for Excellence in Practice Improvement and Patient Care  recognizes outstanding patient interaction, education, care and outcomes by a resident or resident team in a family medicine medical home setting. Family medicine residents who are involved in quality improvement work focused on improving patient-centered care are encouraged to apply. A $1,000 scholarship will be awarded along with an award certificate and a complimentary registration (or up to two complimentary registrations for a resident team) to the  2018 Conference on Practice Improvement . Learn more and apply by Aug. 1.  
Suggested reading
Skyrocketing health care costs and lack of provider accessibility in Summit County have long been problems in search of a solution. Now, under the federal government's State Innovation Models (SIM) initiative, two local providers will be part of an experiment to see if a new approach ­— one that integrates behavioral and mental care with physical care ­— can work to improve accessibility while trying new payment models.
Sheridan Health Services, owned and operated by the  CU College of Nursing , is one of 24 practices in Denver County to participate in SIM and was part of the first cohort that completed its work in March.
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.