Tracking SIM practice transformation efforts 
July 31, 2018
SIM practice data highlights the value of integrated care

Lieutenant Governor Donna Lynne, DrPH, shown at the left, kicked off the first SIM advisory board for the last full year of the initiative, which ends in July 2019.
Most people talk about health care reform from a theoretical standpoint, yet provider teams engaged in the Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM) put that theory into practice. And their work is paying off. New data shows that SIM practices are screening more patients for behavioral health issues, which makes intervention and treatment possible, and it makes delivering whole-person care a reality. Check the SIM data hub and help us tout your successes by sending the press release that all SIM teams have received (cohort-3 will receive this week) to your local media. Reach out to the SIM communications team for help with this and t o see how your colleagues are using the information, which includes a quote from Governor John Hickenlooper, who frequently calls SIM practices health care innovators!
SIM small grants application closes soon

Colorado SIM cohort-3 practices are encouraged to apply for a small grant of up to $40,000 before Aug. 17 to help them achieve their practice transformation goals. This process was highly competitive for cohort-2 practices with 107 applications and 38 practices funded. Cohort-3 team members are encouraged to review all resources posted on the SIM small grants web page and to pay close attention to the budget section to ensure that applications address all requirements outlined in the request for application (RFA) that was published July 13. Visit for updated information, resources (including webinars with tips on how to submit successful applications) and a timeline.
SIM helps practices integrate care, improve patient health

New practice data shows that SIM providers are screening more patients for depression and developmental delays, and have more confidence in the data they report and use to drive better patient care and ongoing quality improvement. Check the SIM data hub for more details.  
Improve the mental health of boys and men in Colorado

We can  do more to identify, intervene and improve mental health among boys and men in Colorado, and a SIM call-to-action led by the SIM population health workgroup outlines activities to do just that.
Recommendations are actionable for health care professionals, community members, employers, coaches, health plans and others. And considering that one in five people in Colorado need mental health services, we all have a role to play.

Listen to the two co-chairs of the population health workgroup discuss this report in the latest episode of the SIM podcast series, Innovation Insights and hear more about this work during the Public Health in the Rockies Conference Aug. 29-31.
Colorado health care reform featured on national stage

Three 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 to discuss their transformation work that has led to significant cost savings. TCPi is a federally funded, governor's office initiative that is managed by the SIM office.
Stories of practice challenges and success will be shared to help other practices and to identify best practices. The following Colorado TCPi 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. Watch for more information about the event on SIM social media channels.
Data aggregation at your fingertips

The Stratus™ training on July 25 provided SIM practices and practice transformation organizations with an opportunity to use the data aggregation tool, share feedback and discuss ways to improve practice engagement. A few Stratus™  use cases demonstrated during the
  • How to identify patients with 0 primary care provider and 3+ emergency room (ER) visits
  • Determining the most common ER diagnosis within a population
  • How to find cost efficient specialists for patient referrals
  • Instructions for drilling down to cost trends and utilization
SIM cohort-2 and cohort-3 practices can activate Stratus™ licenses, and cohort-1 practices will have access to the data aggregation tool through the end of 2018. Practices received links to an online form  to request a license and information for submitting a Business Associate Agreement (BAA). This BAA must be signed by a practice representative before Medicare data can be displayed in the tool. 

Use of the data aggregation tools is part of a required milestone, and the SIM office funds one Stratus™ license per practice. Please note that Stratus™ licenses will be disabled after a period of inactivity. Stratus license holders will receive alerts if accounts have been disabled with a link to the help desk page. Once a ticket is submitted, licenses should be reactivated within 24 hours.


Data in Stratus™ comes directly from payer organizations that support SIM practices including Anthem, Cigna, Health First Colorado (Medicaid), Rocky Mountain Health Plans and United HealthCare. Access to data is directly connected to a practice's payment model and all questions should be directed to payer contacts, which were sent to SIM practices with their welcome packets.
If you have questions or comments about Stratus™ , please reach out to Elizabeth Mattes with the SIM office, and visit for information, resources and training opportunities .
RHCs bring community resources full circle

Locally-based, community-driven work is essential to the success of regional health connectors (RHCs), a new, SIM-funded workforce 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 this SIM podcast.

We encourage you to attend the next health and wellness expo on September 14, from 4 PM - 8 PM in Denver. Click here for more details.
Improving payer-provider partnerships

True health care reform requires different types of partnerships between representatives from health plans (payers) and practices, which is why SIM hosts Multi-Stakeholder Symposiums (MSS) three times each year, and the team invites you to join us for the next one on Sept. 27, from 8 AM - 1:00 PM.

MSS events provides an opportunity for representatives from SIM practices, payers and practice transformation organizations to build closer partnerships, reflect on progress made to date and get updates from the SIM team. Please join us for this unique opportunity, which will be one of the first events that practices in all three SIM cohorts will attend. We will send a description of the day soon and encourage you to read an overview of the last MSS:
Opioid education

The Tri-County Overdose Prevention Partnership is hosting two "Alternatives to Opioids Training and Networking Dinners" (Aug. 15-16) in Thornton and Lone Tree to provide training on alternatives to Opioids, and engage medical, behavioral health and alternative treatment providers in each community to network and identify resources. These events cost $26.48 and are ideal for medical providers including physicians, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, behavioral health providers, dentists, physician's assistants, medical assistants and the list continues. There is a nominal fee and scholarships are available.
Participate in the SIM eCQM solution

SIM launched a new electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) service to help SIM practices extract CQMs once and report them to several, approved entities. The next application will be available in August for the second phase of the eCQM solution, which helps practices 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. The SIM office is looking for practices that can quickly mobilize staff and a representative from their EHR vendors for weekly meetings and validation sessions with the eCQM extraction vendor. Learn more about this eCQM solution in a  SIM podcast
Integrated behavioral health training symposium

The Office of Behavioral Health, in collaboration with SIM and the University of Denver's Graduate School of Social Work, is hosting a free, Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) Best Practices Training Symposium in the University of Denver's Craig Hall on Friday, Nov. 2.

Trainees who complete the IBH Training Bundle, which comprises six training modules developed by the CU Department of Family Medicine and the Office of Behavioral Health with funding from SIM, receive an IBH certificate of completion. Each module aligns with the Core Competencies for Behavioral Health Providers Working in Primary Care and the IBH Best Practice Guidelines.

Experts in behavioral health, practice transformation and integrative teams will present the IBH learning modules. Please save-the-date for this interactive learning experience. A registration link will be sent soon.
Bragging rights: How integrated care improves practice success with APMs

Proving your unique value is a key component to success in alternative payment models (APMs) that reward the value of health care delivered. It sounds like a simple equation but there is nothing simple about helping providers prove that what they are doing in practice helps improve patient outcomes and reduce or avoid unnecessary costs-two keys to success in APMs.

Yet data shows that practices engaged in the Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM), a federally funded, governor's office initiative, are poised for better success in APMs because of practice transformation work funded by SIM. The initiative includes hundreds of practice sites, four community mental health centers and investments in local public health agencies that cover 31 counties and a new workforce to improve connections between providers and community resources.

Read the full article in the latest SIM blog entry.
Help fight against substance use disorder

Substance use disorder is an increasingly urgent epidemic in Colorado.  The Colorado legislature has appropriated money to support you in your clinical response to the epidemic.  This practice assistance will take the form of education loan debt repayment.
To assist the Primary Care Office in directing resources to the areas of greatest need across Colorado, it is essential that they collect data about your practice. The Primary Care Office and partners have designed a state-wide behavioral health provider survey for this purpose and would greatly appreciate you taking the time to participate
The information the Primary Care Office collects is vital to Colorado's response to this public health crisis. Your response is confidential. Any questions about the survey or the behavioral health provider loan repayment program can be directed to the Primary Care Office at 303-692-2324. Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.   
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.
Help reduce teen suicide

During the months of June and July, Colorado's Office of Suicide Prevention (OSP) trained provided approximately 250 Colorado behavioral health providers with evidence-based assessment, intervention and treatment that directly targets suicide risk. Through federal funding for youth suicide prevention, the OSP will roll out additional Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS) trainings for Colorado providers. Contact to learn about the opportunity.
QPP fast facts in 5 minutes

The Quality Payment Program (QPP) began 
Jan. 1 under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) to drive clinician engagement and enhance the quality, cost effectiveness and health of the population. Read the latest installment of fast facts in 5 minutes from the Colorado QPP Coalition to help your practice succeed. The Colorado QPP Coalition, which was formed last year to help practice teams successfully transition to the new program, releases new resources monthly. Visit the web page for updates.
Suggested reading

Well Being Trust in partnership with Hopelab released a new national survey of 14- to 22-year-olds that provides new evidence on the growing mental health crisis affecting young people, finding that large numbers of teens and young adults experiencing moderate to severe symptoms of depression turn to the internet for help.

This toolkit offers strategies to health care providers, communities, and local governments for developing practices and policies to help prevent opioid-related overdoses and deaths. Access reports for community members, prescribers, patients and families, and those recovering from opioid overdose.

Have you ever thought about starting a new job or school, and found your heart pounding and your mind racing with a series of "what ifs"? If so, you may wonder "do I have anxiety?"
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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.