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Welcome to Voices On Value!

Welcome to the CIVHC blog!  I’m Jay Want, and it’s been my pleasure to chair the Governor’s Center for Improving Value in Health Care for the past year and a half.  I’d like to use my first entry to explain briefly why CIVHC exists, and how I believe it will change Colorado health care over the next few years. 

In 2007 the Blue Ribbon Commission for Health Care Reform was empowered to design a blueprint to reshape our health care system, to better meet the needs of the people of Colorado.  One of the recommendations in its final report to the legislature in January, 2008, was to establish a multi-stakeholder “Improving Value in Health Care Authority”.  This became the Center for Improving Value in Health Care, or CIVHC, by Executive Order later that year.  

CIVHC’s charge is broad and deep: we are to investigate, facilitate, and implement systems that will improve the patient experience, reduce costs, improve population health, and increase transparency in health care.  In many ways I view CIVHC to be a successor to the Blue Ribbon Commission, an implementation catalyst for the plan they laid out in their report to the legislature. 

Currently we are working on some of the recommendations outlined by the Commission.  We have been charged by the Department of Health Care Policy and Finance to develop the All Payer Claims Database.  This is a data bank that will allow us to measure the performance of various provider systems, and inform the public and those providers about how we might improve quality and efficiency.  We are working on palliative care and its availability throughout the state, as the whole philosophy of palliative care seems to fit into our goals.  We are supporting various innovations in payment methods to improve provider feedback and accountability for treatment efficacy and efficiency.   

It is apparent that health care reform in general is a controversial topic these days.  But I think the controversy is around how, and not whether, our American system needs to change.  There is general agreement that our system is broken, costing too much and delivering too little for us to remain competitive in an increasingly global market.  We must do better as a nation to restore and promote the prosperity we have enjoyed, so that our children and grandchildren might enjoy this same prosperity.  And to do that, we need a health care system that better meets our needs, at a lower cost.

Over the coming years, I hope you will come to view CIVHC as a major force in Colorado to bring about the needed changes.  We invite you to follow along with us, give us feedback, and even participate with us in our meetings, which are all open to the public.   Together, I believe we can improve our system, deliver more health to more people, and have it cost less. 

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