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Colorado Providers - Importers or Exporters of Services?

A potentially game-changing innovation for improving quality and controlling costs arrives on the health care scene next month. Unfortunately, though, Colorado health care facilities are not part of it…yet.

Beginning in 2014, large national employers including Wal-Mart and Lowes, will begin offering their employees the opportunity to travel to national Centers of Excellence (CoE’s) for total hip and total knee replacements. If the employee travels to the CoE for care, they will have no out of pocket costs for any of their treatment and all travel and meal expenses, for the employees and a “helper/companion”, will be paid for by the employer. (see [Insert link] for more details). There are no Colorado providers on this CoE list and, as a result, Colorado will begin exporting some of its most profitable medical procedures beyond its borders beginning next month.

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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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There’s More Than One Way to Slice an Apple – and to Calculate Readmissions

There’s a lot of data out there, folks. Tons, in fact. One of the statistics you hear a lot about these days is hospital readmission rates. Hospitals have a lot riding on their readmissions rates and many projects across the country focus on reducing readmissions. Hospitals have access to their own readmissions data, but that’s typically where their information ends. The Colorado All Payer Claims Database now has new ways of looking at readmissions that will give hospitals and health systems deeper insights into readmissions across the state and in their own facilities like never before. Separate Medicaid and commercial insurance readmission rates are also now publicly available for comparison across Colorado – giving us the ability to break down readmissions by coverage type, service line and geography. This level of data transparency is a critical part of eliminating unnecessary hospital readmissions for a safer, healthier, and less expensive health care system.

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