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CIVHC and CHI Identify Payment Strategies to Control Health Care Costs and Improve Quality in Colorado

DENVER, CO , July 24, 2012 The Center for Improving Value in Health Care (CIVHC) and the Colorado Health Institute (CHI) and the released a new report that examines strategies to reform the health care payment system, how the new models are being used in Colorado and their potential impact on improving quality and controlling costs.

The report, titled “New Approaches to Paying for Health Care: Implications for Quality Improvement and Cost Containment in Colorado,” documents the role that the traditional fee-for-service payment model plays in rising health care costs and the potential that different payment approaches hold for changing that dynamic.

The report is designed to help policy makers, industry leaders and other stakeholders make informed decisions as they contemplate alternative health care payment approaches.

A number of pilot projects are underway across the state testing new models that move from rewarding providers for the volume of services they provide to rewarding them for greater care coordination and better health outcomes for patients.

The white paper by CIVHC and CHI:

  • Outlines the reforms targeting the fee-for-service payment system;
  • Updates the efforts in Colorado’s public and private sectors to deploy and test new models;
  • Explains each new model, including graphic depictions;
  • Provides the available research on the effectiveness of each model;
  • Offers options to advance payment reform in Colorado.

CHI and CIVHC believe that the joint project will be especially useful as a resource for state policy makers trying to understand the different models of payment reform being tested as well as the evidence underlying those models.

CHI is a non-profit that serves as an independent source for objective health information, data and analysis for the state’s health care leaders. CIVHC is a nonprofit created to identify and advance initiatives that enhance consumers’ health care experiences, contain costs and improve the health of Coloradans by creating an efficient, high quality and transparent health care system.

The report flows from the shared goal of both organizations to provide information that can help guide the discussion related to payment reform in Colorado by examining models of reform and identifying areas of opportunity to advance evidence-based solutions.

“This report demonstrates that payment reform is not a far-off idea, but is being practiced, refined and implemented in a variety of ways here in Colorado,” said Michele Lueck, president and CEO of CHI.

“A key strategy to achieving the Triple Aim goals of better health, better care and lower costs is changing the misaligned incentives of the current fee-for-service payment system,” notes Phil Kalin, CEO of CIVHC. “This report is a crucial tool to help policymakers and other stakeholders understand how and why to shift to rewarding outcomes rather than output.”

Both organizations thanked their shared funders for making the report possible: The Colorado Health Foundation, The Colorado Trust, Caring for Colorado Foundation and Rose Community Foundation.

The report is available on both websites:, and

Lead Authors Available for Presentations

To discuss questions about the report or to request a presentation for your organization, please contact lead authors Edie Sonn (CIVHC, 720.242.7856, or Sara Schmitt (CHI, 720.382.7081,