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Spotlight on Innovation:Taking Collaboration to the Next Level: TCHF’s BC3 Initiative

Colorado has long been known for its collaborative health care landscape and the willingness of the participants to work together for the common good. The Colorado Health Foundation has harnessed this co-operative spirit with a new funding strategy that aims to accelerate the important work already underway in transforming the way health care is delivered and paid for in Colorado.

BC3 – Better Care, Better Cost, Better Colorado – is a collaboration of organizations working to achieve a common goal to further the Triple Aim. The Foundation recently approved a new, ten-year funding approach that uses a structuring model known as collective impact, and as Suzanne White, Senior Program Officer leading this effort at the Foundation, explains, “The approach involves a shared commitment among partners to the same goals and outcomes and a commitment to align their work in order achieve the greatest collective success.”

Early on, a workgroup was developed to help steer the initiative. Key players included CIVHC, Colorado Business Group on Health, Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved, the Colorado Health Foundation, Colorado Health Institute, Colorado Regional Health Information Organization (CORHIO), HealthTeamworks, Quality Health Network, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.

These ten organizations, meeting frequently over the past year, ultimately became the BC3 steering committee and collectively developed the direction, strategies, and goals for the initiative. The Triple Aim became the guiding principle with accelerating advancements in better population health, better care for individuals, and lower costs the foundational objectives.

The steering committee identified three focus areas for 2015, each with specific goals to advance the Triple Aim.

  1. Care Transitions: Better care coordination between treatment settings and 20% reduction of key metrics by 2020.
  2. Emergency Department Utilization: 10% volume reduction in unnecessary treatment and utilization by 2020.
  3. Integrated Care: Provide 80% of Coloradans with access to integrated physical and behavioral health care by 2020.

Partnership is an important part of BC3 and members of the steering committee have begun to examine the existing efforts in Colorado to determine how their own work could advance or reinforce others’. This initial examination has already begun to yield change, according to Michele Lueck, President and CEO of the Colorado Health Institute. “When organizations come together and identify key issues, that’s important work in and of itself. It crystalizes for the entire community what’s important and where we, together, can make a difference. So even our preliminary work has changed and focuses the landscape.”

Ana English, CIVHC President and CEO, found the process of identifying organizational strengths and overlaps to be of particular value. “We spent a lot of time identifying the specific capabilities of each organization, how each organization intersects with and complements one another with the ultimate goal of agreement on the specific role that each is going to play as it relates to BC3’s goals, strategies and specific initiatives.”

Ms. White points to this willingness to collaborate as an early triumph of the initiative. “The commitment of the work group members to collaborate and set shared goals, a path to achieving those goals and outcomes of this effort is a huge first step toward success.”

As Ms. English points out, making wholesale changes in the delivery and payment system is no easy task. “Each organization within BC3 plays a critical role in helping to change the landscape of healthcare in Colorado and it is upon each of us to do what is necessary to remove barriers and help support that change. The BC3 initiative is a major step forward.”

Visit the Colorado Health Foundation’s website for more information.