Tracking SIM practice transformation efforts - July 28, 2017
SIM celebrates success, prepares for cohort-2

The Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM) team will widen its circle of healthcare innovators this September with 164 practices that were accepted into cohort-2. This diverse group of healthcare providers extends the initiative's reach as illustrated i n this map

SIM has laid a strong foundation for future success as evidenced
by provisional data from the Practice Innovation Program at the University of Colorado Department of Family Medicine, a key partner in the SIM initiative, which is funded by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Data, which shows that cohort-1 practices are progressing along an integrated care spectrum and improving their ability to report clinical quality measures, was shared with partners from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), during a site visit last week that included
presentations from healthcare providers (pictured above), regional health connector program staff, and local public health agencies. 
SIM grants fund electronic screenings

Several SIM cohort-1 practices are investing small grant funds into electronic screenings that, they say, improve patient-provider interactions, enhance process efficiency and help healthcare teams collect more accurate data. Learn more in this  story  and click here  to learn how other SIM practices are using grant funds to hire behavioral health clinicians. 
Reducing mental health stigma is key to improving health

Let's Talk Colorado is a new media campaign funded by SIM that aims to reduce the stigma around mental illness so that people who need treatment are more likely to seek it. Listen to the latest episode of our Innovation Insights podcast series to hear more about this exciting work.  

Learn more at:  and use the hashtags #LetsTalkCO and #HablemosCo  to join the discussion on Twitter.
SIM CQM reporting data shows improvements

SIM practices are reporting more clinical quality measures (CQMs) and making strides to establish processes that will help them succeed in value-based payment models, according to the  latest reporting data.  Get all published SIM data on the data hub and learn more about CQMs and data strategy in this data and evaluation podcast.
Community collaboratives enhance patient care, access

SIM is helping organizations, resident groups and/or public entities create partnerships that address behavioral health. These so-called collaboratives gather assets and resources to increase access to behavioral health prevention services and care, which improves patient outcomes. 
Your cost and utilization reports

Understanding and using cost and utilization data is increasingly important for payment purposes.  In August t he SIM office will send you cost and utilization reports via encrypted emails to provid e insights into this d ata t o help practices prepare for and succeed in alternative payment models.
Milliman made the following changes and improvements to the report from the previous version sent earlier this year:
  • Your practice data is now compared with  similar practices (pediatric, family, adult practices) .
  • Milliman and the Center for Improving Value in Health Care identified an attribution issue with last quarter's report that resulted in fewer beneficiaries attributed to each practice. That issue has been resolved, and this report should capture more of your practice's patient panel.  
  • The resolved attribution issue ensures that the reports more accurately represent the number of Medicare beneficiaries attributed to pediatric practices.  As a reminder, attribution is based on the national provider identifier   that practices self-reported in the SIM practice roster. 
A webinar will be scheduled in the coming weeks to explain the data that is included in these reports, and how the reports differ from other claims sources. Stay tuned for more information. Click here for a chart that outlines the differences between the cost and utilization report and the Stratus™ tool.
Weigh in on the QPP proposed rule

The changes in the CMS Quality Payment Program (QPP) proposed rule do not affect the 2017 reporting period. As written, the proposed rule aims to simplify reporting requirements, increase the low-volume threshold, change reporting periods, add virtual groups and allow for more flexibility. Comments are due by Aug. 21 with the expected release of the QPP final rule for year 2 in the fall.
Colorado Medicaid tightens opioid usage policy

In a continued effort to address the growing opioid epidemic in Colorado, the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing is tightening its policy on prescribing and dispensing opioid pain medications to Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid program) members. 
Get tips on succeeding in value-based care arrangements

Administrators, office managers and physicians in SIM and the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPi) practices can participate in this workshop series:
  • Wednesday Aug. 2 (in-person): 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM, face-to-face, MGMA Main Office 104 Inverness terrace Englewood CO 80112.
  • Thursday Aug. 17 (virtual): 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM, lessons learned.
Please RSVP to Pam Ballou-Nelson to participate in these workshops. 
Access e-learning modules

The University of Colorado e-learning website changed its look in July but offers the same valuable learning opportunities for your team. Open a new module today. Register or Sign in by following these simple steps:  

Registered users
  1. Visit:
  2. Select sign-in and enter your email address and the password.  Check your inbox for login information.
  3. Once you sign-in, you will land on the my account page where you will see available modules.  
New users
  1. Visit:
  2. Select register and complete the registration form.
  3. New SIM code: SIM
  4. Once you are registered, you land on the my account page where you will see your modules.
Suggested reading

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is interested in launching a new pay model that will target behavioral health services and is seeking public comment on what the new effort should look like.

Six degrees of population health: Where healthcare organizations are focused heading into 2017
HIMSS Analytics released its 2016 Essentials Brief: Population Health Study, which provides a high-level view of how healthcare organizations, in moving from a volume to value-based care, are incorporating population health initiatives and leveraging their information technology infrastructure to improve outcomes. 
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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.