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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.


With this “beefcake” photo of Theo to draw you in, now for the CIVHC milestones:

This week over 300 people joined with Senator Michael Bennet to celebrate the launch of Healthy Transitions Colorado, a statewide initiative to pull closer together the already outstanding efforts to ensure smooth care transitions, reduce hospital re-admissions and save millions of dollars.  This statewide effort was hatched one year ago by an intrepid group of health care organizations and leaders who were not satisfied with the already stellar work that Colorado has done in the arena of care transitions compared to other states across the country. They have set specific goals to reduce the number of hospital admissions by 8,700 and prevent an unnecessary 34,000 patient days over the next two years.  This is expected to save Coloradans over $80 million dollars in health care spending.

There are too many people and organizations to acknowledge but the effort of the lead operating partners and other organizations who feel that good is not good enough is inspiring and gives me confidence that we will continue to push Colorado to the front of the pack nationally in achieving the Triple Aim of better health, better care and lower costs.  Please keep track of this tremendous work at

Another one year milestone that comes to mind is Colorado’s All Payer Claims Database (APCD) which CIVHC is privileged to administer. Just over one year ago the first claims information was loaded into the APCD.  We now have nearly 2.5 million covered lives in the database covering 2009 through 2012.  As of July 1, “Version 2.0” went live on the APCD site which now includes severity adjusted data for more meaningful comparisons of cost based on patient health status, cost and prevalence of key chronic diseases and more. Colorado has received national recognition for the work we are doing to make data more useable and transparent and the speed at which the APCD has been developed.

One key measure of whether the APCD will be successful is whether the data is being utilized to achieve the Triple Aim. Currently, nearly 20 organizations have either applied for or are in discussions to go through the rigorous Data Review and Release process to obtain data to support the Triple Aim.  Requests range the gamut from understanding statewide rates to research on value-based clinical effectiveness guidelines; from bundled payments to vaccine information that supports public health efforts. It is still very early in the lifecycle of the APCD but it is both gratifying and exciting to see how far we’ve come in one year since the first claims hit the system. Stay tuned as there is much to come over the next few months and years including the consumer-focused search options rolling out in December of this year.

While there are many other topics I could cover, the other milestone I feel compelled to comment on is the recent reporting of the 100 day countdown until the launch of the insurance exchanges across the United States.  This is a really big deal.  In Colorado, the launch of Connect for Health Colorado and the opening of exchanges nationally will usher in a new era of coverage and access to health care services.  This market-based approach to extending commercial insurance to millions of U.S. citizens is a game changer.  Launching of the exchange in addition to Colorado’s important decision to expand Medicaid coverage will unalterably change for the better, the lives of thousands and thousands of Coloradans.  All of us need to be vocal about supporting these efforts and educating our fellow citizens about why these changes are important to them. 

I hope all of you take time to celebrate your milestones both personal and professional.  Thanks for all of your support of our work at CIVHC (and for indulging me with the Theo pictures).

About the Author: Phil Kalin is CIVHC's President and CEO. Contact him at

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