Tracking SIM practice transformation efforts 
March 30, 2018
SIM celebrates cohort-1 practices

The Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM) team applauds the work that cohort-1 practices have completed in the last two years, which sets the stage for sustainable success. That work is already showing dividends for SIM practices, according to clinical quality measures that show better patient outcomesand we'll continue to highlight your work in media venues including the new SIM blog.
"We can now say to CMS [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] and to later adopters, 'Your patients are going to have better outcomes because of this work,'" said Donna Lynne, Colorado lieutenant governor and chief operating officer, during the SIM All Stakeholder Convening last month in Denver. "As you reflect on the last two years and how far we've come with SIM, you should all take a bow."

That message, delivered to hundreds of industry members, who have volunteered their time on seven SIM workgroups, is a testament to your hard work. We salute you. 
SIM-funded resources continued

As cohort-1 wraps up its official SIM work on March 31, we take this opportunity to thank the practices for their leadership and dedication to integrating behavioral and physical health and preparing for future success with alternative payment models. Yet this is not the end of our partnership-at least we hope not. SIM will continue to fund several resources to support this first cohort's ongoing efforts as outlined in a letter sent earlier this month and published here.
Rolling out the SIM eCQM extraction service

SIM practices will be the first to test a service that automatically extracts electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) from electronic health records (EHRs) in June and July. This technical and operational platform will extract eCQMs from EHRs once and report them to different approved entities, a task that is frequently cited as a barrier to success with alternative payment models. Learn more about this exciting work by listening to the new episode of the SIM podcast series, Innovation Insights, and see a visual of how the eCQM solution will work.
Free training modules for care teams

SIM is increasing awareness of senior behavioral health issues during primary care visits with the new training module "Whole-Person Care for the Aging and Senior Patient." The module addresses independent living, transportation and access to food for the integrated primary care team. Resources help primary care providers navigate these issues and provide seniors the highest levels of care.

It is one of nine SIM training modules that provide comprehensive, practical information about behavioral health integration in primary care practices. Use these modules in team meetings for educational purposes and relationship-building, which contributes to higher-quality patient care delivery. To access these modules, sign-up for a free account  on the University of Colorado e-learning platform using the registration code: "SIM".
Stratus™ update

Cohort-2 SIM practices will be able to access their Stratus  licenses in May. Data for these practices will be populated in this data aggregation tool later that month, and the SIM team encourages all practices to log-on to the system and familiarize themselves with Stratus  as soon as they receive an email notification from Best Doctors, which owns the tool, that the license is active. The SIM team will activate all SIM practice licenses to expedite use of this tool, which helps practice teams assess cost and utilization for patients across the payers that support them through SIM.

A Stratus  training for new users will be scheduled in April and the SIM team will email all SIM practices with more information about this training once the dates have been confirmed. Email  Nathan Drashner with questions about Stratus™.
SIM policy briefs

Two new issue briefs, created by the SIM policy workgroup, focus on suicide prevention and the ways in which broadband access affects healthcare. Download these documents and share them through your networks. Contact us if you have questions.
Seeking provider perspectives

How do you use the screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) approach in your practice? Answering that question is the main goal for a survey sent to SIM practices via email. This research, which is led by the Office of Behavioral Health with SIM funding, will help develop training for care teams and information will be entered into a confidential, state database for analysis. Findings will be disseminated without individual or practice identifiers. Timing for survey completion has been extended through the end of the month. All providers who work in integrated settings are eligible to complete the survey. If you work for a SIM practice and did not receive the email with the survey link, please contact us to resend the survey. Contact Janet Steinkamp ( for more information. 
April MSS in Grand Junction

Please save the date for the next SIM Multi-Stakeholder Symposium (MSS) on Thursday, April 26 in Grand Junction. These events provide an opportunity for representatives from practices, payers, and practice transformation organizations (PTOs) to build closer partnerships through respectful discussion, reflect on progress made to date and get updates from the SIM team. Invitations were emailed earlier this week with a registration link. These events are limited to one person per practice and PTO. Please contact us if you did not get an invitation. A more detailed description of the day will be sent soon and an overview of the last MSS, held in January, is published on the SIM website.
TCPi practices get top MIPS score

Practices engaged in the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPi) are reporting success with the Merit Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Two TCPi practices received a MIPS score of 100 and many others score in the 90s, which means they will get positive payment adjustments. More than 90% of MIPS-eligible providers in TCPi have reported and will avoid a negative payment adjustment, due to their work.

Join them. Practices must submit performance data before March 31 to avoid penalties and potentially earn a positive payment adjustment under MIPS, one of two options to participation in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid System Quality Payment Program (QPP). SIM and TCPi practices are uniquely qualified for success in QPP due to the work they're doing with their practice facilitators and CHITAs. Get details on what practices need to submit for MIPS as well as advanced alternative payment models (the other track in QPP) through the Colorado QPP website.

Many of the practices that received 90-100 on their MIPS reporting acknowledge the help they received from TCPi-funded clinical health information technology advisors (CHITAs) to prepare them!
RHCs help the homeless

This winter, three regional health connectors (RHCs) helped bring vital screenings to vulnerable residents in Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas counties. Blood pressure screenings were among the many services that Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) provided to homeless individuals during the annual Point in Time Survey in the metro Denver area, thanks to the work of RHCs Meghan Prentiss, Kaitlin Wolff and Laura Don. Learn more about the Point in Time survey by reading the full story here.
This is just one example of how RHCs connect public health, human services, healthcare providers and other community groups to improve health.  Connect with your local RHC to learn how he or she can help your practice strengthen its partnerships with community resources. 
How satisfied are your patients?

Your patients might be receiving a survey from the Health Services Advisory Group, Inc. and we hope you'll encourage them to participate. The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) survey provides actionable performance feedback for practices. The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing contracted with the Health Services Advisory Group, and SIM practices have been included in the outreach. The SIM team believes this will be a useful tool for practice teams, and we hope you will encourage your patients to participate in the survey if they are invited to do so. For more information on the CAPHS program click here .
Cohort 3 timeline

Practices will learn about their acceptance into the third and final cohort of SIM on May 1. Accepted practices will start their work this summer to integrate physical and behavioral health in primary care settings and gain skills to succeed with alternative payment models. The full timeline is available here.
ACC Phase II update

The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) is committed to creating a high-performing, cost-effective Medicaid system that delivers quality services and improves the health of Coloradans through its Accountable Care Collaborative (ACC), which will leverage proven successes of Health First Colorado's (Colorado's Medicaid) member and provider experience. Learn more about ACC Phase II online, and participate in the informational webinars listed near the bottom of the page. The webinar on April 24 (12 p.m. to 1 p.m.) describes performance measurement in ACC Phase II, including key performance indicators and behavioral health incentive program. Register to attend as space is limited.  
Pain in the nation: A report and a discussion

Deaths from drugs, alcohol, and suicide could account for 1.6 million fatalities over the coming decade (2016 to 2025) according to the report Pain in the Nation: The Drug, Alcohol and Suicide Epidemics and the Need for a National Resilience Strategy. From 2006 to 2015, there were 1 million deaths from these three causes. Please join this Dialogue4Health Web Forum co-hosted by Wellbeing Trust and Trust for America's Health for a panel discussion with public health leaders, who will talk about the need for a national resilience strategy, and discuss public health efforts underway. Register for free today.
Peer-learning on behavioral health in primary care practices

The ECHO Colorado series combines interactive learning and case-based discussions that allow health professionals to participate in a community where experts and peers share knowledge, experience and expertise using technology, not proximity, to connect. An upcoming series focuses on SIM behavioral health providers and will be held virtually on the fourth Tuesday of the month from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. beginning April 24. Learn more and register here
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

This Visualizing Health Policy infographic looks at costs and outcomes of mental health and substance use disorders in the United States (US). 

Read the story of one individual, who has struggled with mental illness his entire life, and how proper care empowered him to regain control.

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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.