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Colorado Receives Funding to Refine Physical and Behavioral Health Integration Plan

In February, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) announced Colorado as one of 25 states awarded funding to modify, develop or test a statewide health care innovation plan. Colorado received a "pre-testing" award that will provide assistance and funding to enhance the initial plan submitted in September to CMMI.

The Innovation Center created the State Innovation Models initiative for states interested in planning, designing, testing, and supporting evaluation of new payment and service delivery models in the context of larger health system transformation. Through the initiative, CMMI will be testing innovative payment and service delivery models that have the potential to lower costs for Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), while maintaining or improving quality of care for program beneficiaries. The goal is to create multi-payer models with a broad mission to raise community health status and reduce long term health risks for beneficiaries of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Colorado's initial plan included testing whether behavioral health can be successfully integrated into primary care practices across the state by investing in three critical areas:

  1. Data, measurement and payment infrastructure;
  2. Expansion and leverage of existing structures for learning and communications; and
  3. Providing funding for practices to finance the cost of and enhance integration.

With the pre-testing award, Colorado has six months to refine their original plan and submit to CMMI. CIVHC was involved in the development and support of the initial plan submitted by the state and looks forward to continuing to inform and assist in its evolution.

Visit the health reform site to learn more about the Colorado project, and visit the Innovation Center website for more information on the national initiative.