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Tipping Point in Health Care?

I’ve been in health care for over 30 years and as I think about most of the problems with healthcare… access, quality, cost, safety, etc., many of the solutions to these issues were obvious even back in those early days of my career. We knew then that fee for service reimbursement created perverse incentives and that outcome based payments aligned incentives for better care and lower costs. In general, care was siloed, inefficient and demanded vertical and horizontal coordination along with tools such as electronic health records (EHR). The problem was that there was no pressure to change unless it was self-generated. Today, many of the same problems exist, but the impetus and external pressures to improve are upon us.

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Reflection

This time of year offers a chance to reflect. Through the hustle and bustle of our day-to-day lives, it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of activity and forget to celebrate what and whom we are grateful for. This year, I am personally grateful for close family and friends, and wonderful memories of loved ones no longer with us. These wonderful memories help to shape us and provide direction as we look forward into the future.  As a part of the Colorado health care non-profit community, I’m also thankful to be part of an innovative ecosystem of organizations and colleagues focused on improving the lives of Coloradans

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Change Agent Profile - Southeast Health Group

Change Agent Profile Series (formerly CIVHC's Spotlight on Innovation) - Southeast Health Group's Tipping Point Integrated Care Pilot

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Crunch Time in Health Care

This time of year is sports fan’s heaven but unfortunately I seem to have been born without the “sports fan gene”. Family, friends and colleagues exchange sad, knowing glances at my pathetic mixed sports metaphors and attempts to engage in post-weekend sports banter.  Despite that, as I write this first health care blog of 2013, all I have are sports metaphors floating in my head.  I apologize ahead of time to all sports fans out there.

Having crossed into 2013, the trigger date of 2014 for implementing the biggest elements of the health care law seems imminent...

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CIVHC Convenes Innovation Challenge Applicants with Foundation, Payers to Leverage Triple Aim Projects

The spirit of innovation is alive and well in Colorado health care. And, even as providers, patient advocates and health plans respond to local needs, they’re identifying many of the same problems. Even more striking: they agree that the changes they need to make to improve health, improve care and control costs can’t be done without radically transforming the way we pay for health care.

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The Power of Collective Impact

Each year after the Colorado Health Symposium I come away proud of the progress we’ve made in health care in our state and re-energized by the commitment and collaboration of so many Coloradans to achieve true systemic change. Through the efforts of many, a plan of action is coming into focus on ways to solve Colorado’s health care problems. Rising costs, mediocre patient experience, a population getting less healthy, and a near total lack of transparent data that can make a broken system work better plagues our state and country. Many organizations in Colorado are pursuing strategies and engaging in interventions to address specific aspects of the solution. However, if Colorado is going to thrive we need to work faster, smarter and in a more systemic way.

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Change Agent Profile: HopeWest

Death is a taboo topic in America. In many cases, the reticence to discuss end-of-life concerns extends to serious diagnoses, such as cancer, which may not be terminal.

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Supreme Court Decision Aside, Colorado Needs to Continue Fast-Tracking Improvements for Our Health Care System

Editorial version published by Denver Business Journal 4.13.12

As the CEO of an organization deeply focused on efforts to make Colorado’s health care better and less expensive, I get a lot of questions about the Affordable Care Act (ACA, Federal Health Care Reform, aka Obamacare). Many assume that if the Supreme Court strikes the law down, the work of CIVHC and many other partner organizations somehow goes away and we hit a big re-set button for our work.  Nothing could be further from the truth. 

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CIVHC Celebrates Five Year Anniversary and New Staff

February 13th marked five years since Governor Ritter signed the Executive Order to develop the Center for Improving Value in Health Care. In those five years since CIVHC was merely an idea born out of the 208 Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Care Reform, much has changed for our organization and our state as a whole. The future of health care in Colorado looks bright, and I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce several new staff and highlight some new resources we made available this month in support of Colorado efforts.

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2013 Colorado Health Symposium Reflections

Every year the Colorado Health Foundation brings together over 300 people from throughout Colorado and the U.S. to explore a wide array of health-related issues and drivers of change in the health and health care eco-system. This year’s Colorado Health Symposium topic was "Health Forward: Harnessing the Energy of Change". Throughout the three days, participants were encouraged by national experts to contemplate the forces of change — policy, consumer demand, marketplace and others — in an effort to identify innovations at play that will impact our mutual efforts to achieve the Triple Aim….better health, better care and lower costs.

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A Letter From CIVHC's New CEO: Ana English

I am excited to be a part of CIVHC and working again in Colorado! My first official day was August 4, 2014, and within a few days I was in awe of the number of health care improvement activities occurring in Colorado and all there is to learn. To get up to speed as quickly as possible, my calendar is already full of meetings with staff, key stakeholders and business leaders that play an essential role in the success of CIVHC. Of critical importance is hearing directly from you and understanding the important role you play in Colorado’s health care landscape and what support CIVHC might be able to provide you along your journey.

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Continued Commitment to Colorado Triple Aim

It’s hard to believe that this will be my final blog post as President and CEO of CIVHC. By the time our next newsletter rolls around, I will be in the same role but with Pinnacol Assurance, Colorado’s leader in worker’s compensation insurance. The work I’ve been engaged with at CIVHC, together with our many partners, has been some of the most challenging and gratifying of my career. I’m proud to have played a small part in joining with so many caring individuals and organizations who are united in helping Colorado achieve the Triple Aim of better care, better health and lower costs. 
 

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Reality Check in a Time of Uncertainty

Change brings opportunity. And judging from the amount of change underway in Colorado’s health care community right now, we’ve got lots of opportunity! Nonprofit organizations—including CIVHC—and state agencies are undergoing leadership transitions. Foundations are reconsidering their funding approaches. Colorado’s State health Innovation Plan lays out an ambitious, multi-year agenda for health system transformation.
 

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Colorado APCD Data to Hit the National Transparency Scene

The latest long, fairly difficult to remember acronym to come into play for CIVHC and the Colorado All Payer Claims Database is “HRCMT”. While none of us have been waiting around to learn another health care acronym, the Healthcare Regional Cost Measurement and Transparency project has the promise to make a big impact nationally using data from the Colorado APCD and other similar databanks in other states.

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Food, Nutrition, and Reducing Readmissions

Efforts to reduce readmissions have targeted virtually every element of the patient experience from in-hospital communication to discharge services, records transmission to long-term care and skilled nursing facilities, and in-home support for medication adherence and care coordination. Recently, there’s been increasing focus on the non-medical drivers of readmissions – social determinants that effect day-to-day health and may prove to be significant drivers of hospital readmissions. We know that shelter and security are a huge part of recovery and remaining healthy after a readmission, but access to the appropriate food and nutrition also has enormous impacts on a patient’s health post-discharge.

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CORHIO Awarded $1.7M Grant to Improve Coordination for Hospital and Long-Term Care Patients

CORHIO is among only eight organizations across the country to receive a “State Health Information Exchange Challenge Grant” from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).

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