Health Innovations                                                                                 June 2018
Recognizing the value of whole-person health
Mental health has been a prominent headline in consumer media channels after two well-known celebrities died by suicide in the last week. The articles highlight the fact that people from all backgrounds struggle with mental as well as physical health challenges, and underscore the value of recognizing signs early so that intervention is possible. Helping people get the help they need can save lives, which is one of the reasons why integrating physical and behavioral health care in primary care practice sites and community mental health centers is so valuable.

The Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM) is making strides toward this goal by helping practices integrate behavioral and physical health and myriad investments that help address stigma and improve patient access to care. June is Men’s Health Month, which provides an opportunity to highlight resources that focus on men’s mental health, such as the new call-to-action report and Man Therapy as well as general resources, including to a podcast with Sarah Brummett, director of the Office of Suicide Prevention, who talks about how the state is helping more help people get the care they need, and the Let’s Talk Colorado campaign , which is funded by SIM.

The SIM team will welcome cohort-3 at the end of this month, which helps widen the reach and scope of this federally funded, governor’s office initiative along with some of the resources that SIM funds. We continue to seek new ways to expand access to integrated physical and behavioral health, which is one reason SIM team members attended the Colorado Commission on Indian Affairs (CCIA) meeting in Towaoc last month. We heard emotional stories about several teen suicides and the need to address mental health issues among tribal communities. During the CCIA meeting, members participated in the Annual Ute Bear Dance (shown above) at the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe in Towaoc. 
'Depression & Men' education module for care teams
Symptoms of depression in men might differ than those care team members see in women, which is one reason why a new care module funded by SIM focuses on symptoms commonly found in men, screening and treatment options and resources. The Men & Depression module is available now along with other SIM-funded modules, which you can access by creating an account with the “SIM” registration code.
How can you improve mental health in Colorado?
We can do more to identify, intervene and improve mental health among boys and men in Colorado, and a new report published by the SIM population health workgroup outlines action steps to do just that. Recommendations are actionable for community members, employers, coaches, health plans and health care professionals and considering that one in five people in Colorado need mental health services, we all have a role to play.

Strategies in   “Raising the bar on behavioral health awareness, prevention and treatment for boys and men: A call to action”  focus on recommendations for boys and men and will redefine how Coloradans talk about mental health, screen for conditions, enable appropriate interventions and expand access to the right care at the right time in the right place. It goes beyond traditional health care settings and identifies people, who can make Colorado healthier. Read more in the latest SIM blog.
Investing in digital health solutions
A total of 13 companies made it to the semi-final round for the Prime Health Challenge, an event that matches safety net institutions with digital health technologies that address patient and provider needs. Two SIM team members acted as judges for the first round and continue to work with the Prime Health team to ensure that SIM practice sites have access to technologies that improve efficiency and enhance patient care and experience. Winners will receive a portion of $150,000 provided by the Colorado Health Foundation to fund pilots with Colorado safety nets and rural critical access hospitals. Learn which companies made it into the semi-finalist round.
Increasing student access to mental health: A success story
The SIM initiative takes a wide lens to improving the health of Coloradans. In addition to working with about 25% of the state’s primary care practices and four community mental health centers, SIM funds eight local public health agencies and two behavioral health transformation collaboratives (BHTCs) that cover 31 counties as well as 21 regional health connectors. The two BHTCs, which are jointly funded by SIM and the Denver Foundation, include Aurora Mental Health Center (AuMHC) in the metro Denver area and the Health District of Northern Larimer County (HDNLC) in northern Colorado, and focus on prevention. Both entities are working with local school districts to improve behavioral health screenings and referrals. Since August 2017, AuMHC has screened 2,269 youth through coordination with Aurora Public Schools and referred 96 students to community resources and behavioral health services. HDNLC has coordinated referrals to behavioral health resources from Poudre School District schools, community primary care providers and the community at-large. In the current contract year (August 2017-2018), HDNLC has served 632 children/adolescents/young adults with screenings, needs assessments and support, care coordination services and more, and had 114 children/youth/young adults referred from schools, 234 referred from primary care providers and 532 referred from the community. 
SIM eCQM solution launches
The SIM team closed its first application for the electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) service that will help SIM practices extract CQMs once and report to several, approved entities. The next application will launch later this month: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5CYV5CW.

The new service helps providers extract eCQMs from electronic health records (EHRs) and report data to the Shared Practice Learning and Improvement Tool and other appropriate sources while reducing administrative reporting burden. Complete this application today to participate in the initial phase, which is scheduled to run through July 31, 2018.

The SIM office is looking for practices that can quickly mobilize clinical and information technology staff and a representative from your EHR vendor for weekly meetings and validation sessions with the eCQM extraction vendor. Learn more about this eCQM solution in a SIM podcast: http://bit.ly/ecqmsolution
What's your piece of the payer-provider puzzle
It’s easy to get mired in assumptions, stereotypes and misunderstandings when you work in health care. Extricating yourself from that mindset can be difficult yet it’s essential to true health care reform that allows care teams to deliver integrated behavioral and physical health and use data to explain its value to health plan partners.

Obtaining, reporting and using accurate, trustworthy data is key to building partnerships between representatives from health plans (payers) and health clinics (providers) that will ensure the ongoing success of integrated care. SIM is helping foster these types of relationships, which historically have focused on cost and payment. Focusing on better patient health and the ways in which SIM practices deliver whole-person care, which improves outcomes and helps avoid or reduce costs is the main goal for SIM Multi-Stakeholder Symposiums (MSS). Two SIM cohort-1 practice teams presented their work during the May MSS, which was held in Grand Junction. Read the full story here.
RHCs influence care in Colorado
Regional health connectors (RHCs) are helping connect providers throughout Colorado with community resources that make a difference. In a recent baseline assessment of SIM cohort-2 practices, 89% representatives said they would recommend their RHCs to their colleagues.

Lexie Ellis (Region 7, Pueblo county) led discussions with Pueblo’s Substance Use Response Ecosystem about the 2018 Youth Substance Abuse Prevention & Intervention Symposium June 19. Learn more about how RHCs are connecting providers with community resources: http://www.regionalhealthconnectors.org.
Cancer genetics event: Why it matters to primary care
Primary care providers and other clinical staff members are encouraged to attend the June 28 “Cancer Genetics in Primary Care” dinner workshop to learn how cancer genetics affect your patients across the care continuum, where to find screening tools to collect a complete family history, how to find state genetic counseling and testing resources, and hear updates on the two most common hereditary cancer syndromes. COPIC points and continuing education credits are available. Get more information and register here .
Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne signs bills into law
At the direction of Gov. John Hickenlooper, Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne signed several bills into law last week while the governor was traveling out-of-state. Two of the bills deal with behavioral health and the justice system:

  • SB 18-250 (Jail-based behavioral health services) continues to allow the correctional treatment cash fund to be used to provide treatment for persons with mental and behavioral health disorders, who are being served through the jail-based behavioral health services program.
  • SB 18-251 (Statewide behavioral health court liaison program) establishes a statewide behavioral health court liaison program. The purpose of the program is to identify and dedicate local behavioral health professionals as court liaisons in each state judicial district to facilitate communication and collaboration among judicial, health care, and behavioral health systems.

Click here for a full list of the bills Lynne signed into law.
Countdown to ACC Phase II
The next iteration of the Accountable Care Collaborative (ACC) will begin July 1, 2018. The goals of the next phase are to improve member health and reduce costs, according to the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. Get more information about how this change affects you: CO.gov/HCPF/ACCPhase2
New funding opportunity to support healthy teens
Anxiety, depression, suicide and substance use are widely understood to be the most pressing behavioral health issues facing Colorado teens and young adults. Challenges young people experience can lead to substance use, onset of mental health concerns and increased need of support.

The Supporting Healthy Teen Minds and Resiliency funding opportunity from the Colorado Health Foundation (CHF) aims to build social-emotional skills and create supportive environments to improve resiliency for young people facing barriers to mental well-being. The Foundation seeks to enhance young people’s social-emotional skills and positive relationships so they have greater ability to cope and thrive despite adversity Learn more and apply by June 15
SIM investments featured at PHiR
The SIM team is proud to note that at least three sessions at the upcoming Public Health in the Rockies (PHiR) conference will feature SIM-funded work. One of the sessions is an hour-long panel with members of the SIM population health workgroup and a SIM-funded community mental health center that will talk about the new call-to-action report, “Raising the bar on behavioral health awareness, prevention and treatment for boys and men,” which will act as a roadmap to improve mental health. One of the core messages that will be conveyed during this conference—and overall—is that all Coloradans can take active roles to improve mental health. Learn more and register for PHiR and we’ll look forward to seeing you there.
Suggested reading
Since 2000, the opioid abuse and overdose epidemic has claimed more than 300,000 lives and devastated even more families. Now it threatens to overwhelm communities in our country. Read why this may be the public health crisis of our time. 
Current substance use or a history of substance use can change a treatment plan. Without knowledge of a person’s substance use, health care providers might inappropriately prescribe opioid medications, and inadvertently trigger substance use relapse.
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.