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We Have Money for You (Seriously)

Originally featured in the July Community Connections Blog from The Colorado Trust.

In six years of college, I never heard the phrase, “we have a scholarship for you.” No, it didn’t take me six years to finish a college degree; that was my little brother, who ironically enough was actually offered a scholarship. In my six years between undergraduate and graduate school, the phrase “we have a bill for you” was the one I heard. Back then I never would have anticipated that one day I would help run a program to provide scholarship money to organizations in pursuit of improving health care.

After joining CIVHC as the Colorado All Payer Claims Database (APCD) Account Manager, one of my first tasks was to talk to organizations about the data available in the APCD. When providers, researchers and other entities realized they could for the first time benchmark their performance, analyze health care costs and variation in use of services - among countless other things - they were more than excited to get started. However, for many of the non-profits and small research entities I spoke to, the cost to cover developing their specific data reports prohibited them from moving forward. That’s why CIVHC and the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) developed a fund to offset the cost of accessing APCD data.

The fund is available thanks to the Colorado General Assembly which appropriated $500,000 to be used by HCPF to offset APCD data and report acquisition for eligible organizations. Funding became available July 1, 2014, and will last through June 30, 2015 (or until funds are depleted) and is available on a first come, first serve basis. If demand continues and state funds are available in the future, we anticipate that the fund will be renewed in succeeding fiscal years. Eligible organizations include non-profits and research organizations with annual budgets of less than $5,000,000, and Colorado state agencies intending to use the data to improve health care and lower costs.

Organizations receiving data are responsible for covering a portion of the costs which vary depending on their annual budget and the type of data request. The fund covers the remaining amount – between $2,500 and $25,000. We’ve had some exciting projects come to us already like using the data to study the impact customized home-delivered meals have on the reduction of health care costs, examining oral health procedures in a hospital setting, and using APCD data to work with employers to manage their employer benefit programs.

We’re excited to be able to offer this funding to support improving health care and we want as many organizations to take advantage as possible. My job is to help you learn more about the APCD fund, what’s possible with the CO APCD data, and reports that could help your organization identify opportunities and answer questions you may be facing. You can also look at more details about the program on our website.

So, hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my number (720-484-4112), so call me maybe? An email works too…

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