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Data. The Foundation of Improvement

During my first 30+ days it has been exciting to hear positive feedback from our various stakeholders regarding CIVHC, its staff and management team, and our future potential. Most see the value of the Colorado All Payer Claims Database (CO APCD) and the strong potential of claims data in informing and driving health care reform. In fact, at the national level we recently received a letter of commendation from Dr. Len Nichols, Director of the Center for Health Care Policy Research and Ethics at George Mason University, highlighting the value of the recent launch of consumer-focused price information and how the CO APCD differentiates health care price transparency in a way unlike any other APCD in the country. We consider ourselves stewards of this important resource for the state and it is our commitment to continue to make this valuable data and information more readily available and actionable.

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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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Paramedics Save the Day...and Then Some

When asked to list types of primary care health care providers, the majority of people would probably say doctor or nurse. With prodding, perhaps pharmacists, public health providers, and medical assistants would come to mind. Paramedics and EMTs may not top the list, but Eagle County’s Community Paramedic program is starting to change people’s perceptions of paramedics.

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CO APCD Data in Action

Over the last two years, the Colorado APCD team has worked very hard with stakeholders across the state of Colorado, as well as across the country, to make the state’s most comprehensive health care claims database accessible and valuable for the benefit of Coloradans. According to the legislation establishing the database, the purpose of the CO APCD is to “facilitate the reporting of health care and health quality data that results in transparent and public reporting of safety, quality, cost and efficiency information at all levels of health care.” We’ve come a long way towards realizing that public purpose from 2012 to now and I’d like to highlight some of the exciting ways organizations are using the custom data for health care improvement.

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One Year Milestone Celebrations

These past couple months have been full of milestones both personally and for CIVHC. As I get older I’m more cognizant of both the passing of time and what I make of it. I’m trying to be more attentive to key milestones and take every opportunity to celebrate them . As I prepared to write about a couple of key one year milestones for CIVHC, I couldn’t help but think about the one year milestone (6/22) of having become a first-time grandfather to Theo.  I am incorrigible about showing pictures of him and am certain that all of our health care readers will be equally as interested in seeing documentation of how far Theo has come as he hits his first year milestone.

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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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Readmission Penalties Give Hospitals a Reason to Spend Money on the Right Things

There was a story in the Denver Post this week about Medicare’s penalty for readmissions being charged to 27 Colorado hospitals that participate with Medicare. On average, these hospitals were penalized 1/3 of one percent of their total Medicare reimbursement. In the case of one large hospital system, this amounted to about $300,000 out of a total revenue stream of $2.7 billion, or about 1/100 of one percent. At this level, one might wonder if it’s worth the trouble to administer, or if anyone is really paying attention.

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Cultivating the Network of Care: Building Transformation from the Inside Out

Originally featured in Healthy Transitions Colorado's July newsletter.

On Friday, June 26th Healthy Transitions Colorado held its very first symposium: Building Transformation from the Inside Out. The symposium was the first in a series of three with a complementary learning series titled Cultivating the Network of Care. Thank you to everyone who made the event such a success! Over 70 partners came out for networking and learning more about how to prepare their facilities for community-based care.

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"Doc Fix" and the Potential to Improve Readmissions

There has been a lot of buzz lately about the “doc fix” or the proposed repeal of the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate formula (SGR). The SGR was put into law in 1997 as part of an attempt to regulate Medicare spending and essentially linked physician Medicare reimbursement to an economic target. The formula turned out to be rather quirky and soon resulted in proposed reimbursement cuts of more than 5 percent per year.

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