Tracking SIM practice transformation efforts 
September 28, 2018
Reforming health care: A SIM story

A panel of health plan and provider representatives discuss their successful partnerships during the SIM Multi-Stakeholder Symposium this week.
The Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM) continues to receive and share data from SIM practices, which show that your efforts to reform processes and approaches to patient care are paying off. Check the new SIM newsroom to see the  media outlets that tout your successes  and send us stories that we can share. New investments, including the electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) solution and the e-Consult request for proposal we will release next month will help you expand patient access to integrated behavioral and physical health and succeed with alternative payment models. That success relies on your ability to report and use data effectively and willingness to share those efforts with health plans. Three practice and health plan representatives discussed their successful partnerships during the Sept. 27 Multi-Stakeholder Symposium (shown at left). Each representative cited regular communication, honesty, transparency and patience as essential components. We will share more details in the coming weeks, and look forward to seeing you in the next few months at  Collaborative Learning Sessions in Denver and Grand Junction.
SIM extends CHITA support

Cohort-1 practices can opt-in to extended support from clinical health information technology advisors (CHITAs) to support their participation in the SIM electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) solution, which is outlined below. Practice team members must complete a form by Oct. 12 to capitalize on this benefit, which is funded by SIM, and offered between December 2018 and March 2019. Participating practices can work with the same organizations that provided CHITA services during cohort 1 and will also receive $500 to complete activities outlined in the SIM Extended CHITA Services Payment Table.
SIM small grants awarded

The SIM office has distributed award notices to cohort-3 practices and congratulates practices on their successful applications. This was a competitive process and the team appreciates all the time and effort that was invested in applications. Please read and share the communication regarding the official process and next steps with the awards. Please refer to resources on the small grants web page and email Erin Walti, (, purchasing and contracting specialist for the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) with questions about the process. As a reminder, the review of applications for SIM small grants is managed by HCPF.  
SIM eCQM solution helps providers report data

SIM practices are encouraged to apply for the SIM-funded electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) solution. There are a limited number of spots so apply today. The solution, which will help SIM practices extract eCQMs once and report them to several, approved entities, is intended to improve reporting capabilities and reduce administrative reporting burden, which is frequently cited as a significant barrier to succeeding with alternative payment models. The first phase, which ended in July, included 11 practices and 90 providers. The second phase will include 190 practices. Learn more about this eCQM solution and the technology that fuels it and apply today.
SIM pediatric practice creates strong patient connections

Learn how Western Colorado Pediatric Associates (WCPA) is connecting parents with community resources to improve patient care using SIM small grant funds in the latest SIM podcast. WCPA created a weekly resource group that community members coined 'the Parent Help Desk' that has been well attended since its inception 18 months ago. Follow SIM's Soundcloud account to catch every episode of Innovation Insights, and check the news and media web page for videos, podcasts, articles and more. 
Realizing the benefits of data aggregation

SIM practices are capitalizing on the benefits of Stratus™, a claims data aggregation tool that has refreshed data from Anthem, Cigna, Medicare (for SIM/CPC+ practices), Medicaid, Rocky and United. SIM practices are encouraged to activate licenses to access the tool at their earliest convenience and use this data in actionable ways. SIM funds cohort-2 and cohort-3 practices with one Stratus™ license per practice through June 2019, and cohort-1 practices through December 2018. Activate your Stratus™ license by completing this online form. It can take up to two weeks to receive log-in and training information. Work with your practice facilitators, who have received special Stratus™ trainings, contact Elizabeth Mattes ( with the SIM team with questions about Stratus™ and check the web page for more information and resources.

Learn how to thrive in the value-based world: Financial keys to succeed

Clinicians, office managers and business office staff in SIM practices will get tips, tools and guidance for success with alternative payment models during this Oct. 10 workshop in Denver. Topics will include budget basics, ways to generate revenue, payer contracting strategies and managing patient attribution through improved workflows. SIM practice teams are encouraged to participate in this interactive workshop hosted by the Medical Group Management Association with SIM funding. Event details: Oct. 10 from 8:30am - 12:00pm, The Catalyst HTI building 3513 Brighton Blvd, Denver, CO 80216.  Email Pam Ballou-Nelson ( with questions and register 
Survey shows health disparities in CO youth

Data from the 2017 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey  highlight vulnerabilities in the health of Colorado youth and identify health behavior disparities based on race and ethnicity. One finding flagged in the executive summary: "We would be remiss in our responsibility to statewide youth health to ignore that American Indian youth report the highest rates of many health issues, including obesity, e-cigarette use, experience with electronic bullying, suicide attempts, and hunger." Data was collected from 56,000 youth from 190 randomly selected middle and high school students statewide.
RHC profiles: Finding a place in northeast Colorado

Jeff Appleman, regional health connector (RHC) for Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington and Yuma counties, is helping connect providers with community resources to address health challenges that are common in this rural region.
His favorite thing about Fort Morgan, population 11,000, is its small-town feel. "It's a strong community. They're always looking out for each other," he said of his northeast Colorado home. "In Denver, you'll go to a meeting that's catered by Panera or whatever. Here, I'm getting home- cooked meals." Read the full story and click here to connect with your RHC today.
SIM practices highlighted in consumer media

Health care reform takes time and effort, and SIM providers are getting the media coverage they deserve for integrating behavioral and physical health care to improve patient outcomes and reduce or avoid unnecessary costs. These practices have been dubbed "health care innovators" by Governor Hickenlooper and are paving the way for future success with alternative payment models. Read these stories and other SIM media coverage in the SIM newsroom. 
Investing in patients improve morale, prodctivity

One of the goals for Southwest Retinae Consultants, Durango, during its participation in the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPi), is to enhance patient-family engagement (PFE) efforts, and to engage more fully in community events. TCPi is a federally funded, governor's office initiative that is managed by the SIM office. "We repurposed marketing efforts/monies into supporting patients and the community," says Jennifer Batchelor, COA, practice administrator. "Our marketing efforts were expensive and did not reflect practice values. We redirected that money into tangible activities that reflect our practice culture, values and the wishes of the care team." Click here to read the full story
Are you eligible for a loan repayment opportunity?

Health care professionals, who work in a health professional shortage area and deliver health care services to patients who are underserved, might be eligible for payment of qualified student loans. Submit your application by Sept. 30 to the Colorado Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program (CHSC), which accepts applications for loan repayment on a biannual basis in March and September. Click here for more information. One of the important caveats: The practice must generally accept public insurance and offer discount services to low-income, uninsured patients on a sliding fee scale.
Help patients plan healthy futures

Connect patients of all ages, who are interested in future medical planning, with free resources from Colorado Care Planning. Examples of what you'll find: Colorado-specific advance directives including a Medical Durable Power of Attorney form and a living will.
New CMS model addresses opioid crisis for children

The Integrated Care for Kids (InCK) Model, a new payment and service delivery model that is intended to combat the nation's opioid crisis, was announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). A detailed notice of funding opportunity will be released this fall. InCK is intended to reduce expenditures and improve the quality of care for children under 21 years of age, who are covered by Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The model focuses on prevention, early identification and treatment of behavioral and physical health needs to accomplish its goals and will empower states and local providers to address these needs through care integration across all types of health care providers. Click here for details.  
Integrated Behavioral Health Best Practices Training Symposium

The Office of Behavioral Health and the University of Denver's Graduate School of Social Work, will host an all-day Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) Best Practices Training Symposium in the University of Denver's Craig Hall on Friday, November 2, 2018. Participation in this training, which is funded by SIM, will provide opportunities to acquire best practice skills for highly performing integrated care teams. Attendees will participate in small-group, interactive and inter-professional  experiential learning activities. Registration information will be coming soon.  Please click here  for more information.
CO announces new community innovation program

State executives introduced 2GO, a community innovation pilot program that will provide 10 Colorado communities with $100,000 grants to plan and implement Two Generation (2Gen) approaches that address the needs of parents and children together to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.

"It's innovation like we will see in this grant program that will keep Colorado at the forefront of 2Gen work nationally," Governor Hickenlooper said. "We look forward to seeing the creative ideas that will no doubt transform our communities."

The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) will fund the program with $1 million. 2GO grants must be used to build community readiness and collaboration to better serve families and ensure better outcomes for the whole family. CDHS anticipates that up to four years of additional funding may be available for successful projects. The request for proposal was released on Aug. 29 and closed Sept. 28, 2018. Click here for more information about 2Gen approaches and the 2GO grant program.
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

The Health Equity Task Force for Delivery and Payment Transformation aims to develop and advance a consumer-, community- and health equity-focused health care transformation agenda. The Task Force's first publication, A Framework for Advancing Health Equity and Value: Policy Options for Reducing Health Inequities by Transforming Health Care Delivery and Payment Systems, is envisioned as a resource for policy development and prioritization for health equity and health system transformation leaders.

"Health is more than health care" is one of many valuable sections in the Equity Action Guide published this year by the Colorado Office of Health Equity, a comprehensive resource that SIM practices are encouraged to read and share widely

Reducing "Enhancing Early Childhood Mental Health Primary Care Services: Evaluation of MA Project LAUNCH" was published in the Maternal Child Health Journal. The article documents positive outcomes from the Massachusetts Project LAUNCH model to reduce child social emotional risks and challenging behavior as well as parental stress and depression. 
Like us on Facebook
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.