Center for Improving Value in Health Care
Oct 8, 2013 | 0 comments | Posted by Cortney Green
When Colorado received a State Innovation Model Pre-Testing Assistance Award from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in March 2013, I had no idea that I was about to witness a study in hard work, collaboration, and progressive thinking. Multiple organizations and state offices have worked on the State Innovation Model (SIM), including the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, the Colorado Health Institute, University of Colorado’s Department of Family Medicine, and CIVHC. As part of the goal to make Colorado the healthiest state, the SIM plan focuses on integrating physical and behavioral health. The process involves Colorado stakeholders on multiple levels, from a large stakeholder advisory group, to issue-specific work groups, to a project management team. CIVHC is a member of the management team as well as the staff for the SIM Public Health Work Group. With the help of chair Lisa Van Raemdonck (Executive Director, CALPHO), Edie Sonn (Vice President, CIVHC), and Kristin Paulson (Senior Manager of Policy and Initiatives, CIVHC), a group of individuals from varied backgrounds and viewpoints provided exceptional insight and feedback for the public health section of the SIM plan.
As the group’s note taker, I was able to witness the dynamics of the work group, and to see their questions, suggestions, and knowledge shape a document concerning public health in Colorado. When the group first convened, the differences in opinion and a still developing understanding of the scope and nature of the work group provided a broad and diverse set of feedback for the staff to process. As the group became more familiar with each other and the goals of the SIM work, their individual experiences and knowledge began to build upon each other. During the final meetings of the group, members were able to locate areas for improvement and emphasis and contributed to a document that not only addresses integration and public health in Colorado currently, but also provides recommendations for a future with better integration of care and higher quality of care. As Edie mentioned multiple times throughout the process, the work of the group was important not only for the SIM plan, but to have as a reference document to change Colorado for the better independently of a specific program.
Through the five meetings of this group, I learned more about the state of public health in my state than I thought possible. I also became aware that when one is in a room full of passionate, intelligent people with their minds set on identifying a solution to a problem, the results can defy expectations. Below are a few key points that I saw come out of the SIM Public Health Work Group.
The work being done on the State Innovation Model is astounding. Although I only directly experienced the work of the public Health Work Group, the ideas and recommendations emerging from this work will hopefully encourage great improvements in the quality of care throughout Colorado.
About the author: Cortney Green is Program Assistant for CIVHC. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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