SIM releases third and final practice application

Media contact: Connor Holzkamp, 303.691.7842,

Denver – Nov. 15, 2017 – Providers are encouraged to apply for the third and final cohort of the Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM). This governor’s office initiative, which is funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), helps Colorado primary care practices integrate behavioral and physical health and test alternative payment models. The application ( will be open from Nov. 15 through Jan. 10.

This is the last opportunity to participate in SIM, which launched with 100 practices in 2016, expanded in 2017 with 155 practices in cohort 2 and will help 400 primary care sites deliver whole-person care by July 2019. These three cohorts and four community mental health centers will integrate physical and behavioral health with support from SIM.

“This is the type of meaningful advancement that enables Colorado to become the healthiest state in the nation,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper. “The work that SIM practices do to integrate behavioral and physical health is vital to ensure that Coloradans receive the comprehensive care they need and deserve.”

A few successes from cohort-1 practices:

  •  Increased mental health screenings: Practices screened 130,336 eligible patients for depression; followed-up on positive results
  •  Decreased burnout
  •  Improved ability to report and confidence in clinical quality measures, data that can help providers articulate a unique value and negotiate more effectively with health plans
    •  Example: In quarter-2 2017, 100% of SIM practices reported on at least one CQM
  • Improved integration: Of 92 cohort-1 practices, 39 moved to a higher level on the Integrated Practice Assessment Tool at 12 months (42.4%):

Guidance and support for integrated care

Practices accepted into SIM cohort 3 will receive a year of practice coaching valued at $25,000, $6,500 in achievement-based payments, access to a data aggregation tool and the opportunity to apply for up to $40,000 in small grant funds in addition to other benefits:

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits is the knowledge that addressing the whole patient is the right way to deliver primary care. "It feels better to be able to take care of the whole patient," said Glenn Madrid, MD, a SIM cohort-1 provider, who says the initiative provides the type of focused attention and support the practice needs to deliver whole-person care, which improves patient health, enhances provider morale and lowers costs. SIM providers work with practice facilitators and clinical health information technology advisors to create, retool and refine processes that support team-based, patient-centered care that helps practices succeed in value-based payment models that most payers are adopting.

Improving ‘whole-patient’ health

The initiative helps providers progress along an  integrated care path continuum that might start with referrals and could lead to co-location of behavioral and physical health professionals in primary care settings. Integrated care improves patient outcomes, reduces healthcare costs and enhances provider morale. About 2,151 SIM providers are delivering this type of care during approximately 2,772,851 annual patient visits.

“SIM providers in these cohorts must focus on the entire patient, which means addressing mind, body and mental wellness,” said Donna Lynne, Lieutenant Governor and Chief Operating Officer. “That complete approach to one’s health is what makes the SIM initiative is so valuable. We are investing in team-based, patient-centered care in primary care settings. Patients get the care they need when they need it and providers learn how to succeed with new payment models. It’s a great example of meaningful reform in our state.”

Colorado was one of 11 states selected for the SIM model test awards, and the only state to focus on integrated care supported by public and private payers as its primary goal. The state will receive  $65 million from  CMS to implement and test its model for healthcare innovation. The initiative is expected to save CMS $126.6 million in healthcare costs with a 1.95 return on investment during its four-year time frame.

Three webinars will provide a SIM overview for providers who are interested in applying:

Learn more:


The project described was supported by Funding Opportunity Number CMS-1G1-14-001 from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM), a four- year initiative, is funded by up to $65 million from CMS. The content provided is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of HHS or any of its agencies.

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