Colorado Refugee ER Cost Analysis

The Colorado African Organization (CAO) was a nonprofit organization that supported Colorado’s refugee, immigrant, and asylum-seeking populations in their pursuit of integration, self-sufficiency and freedom.


In 2018, the CAO accessed CO APCD data to research and demonstrate how its Community Navigation Program provided not only individual benefits for the narrow population of refugees and immigrants that it served, but also, how it impacted the broader community and showcased a model associated with improved health as well as reduced costs.

There were a number of different questions the CAO was looking to answer with the help of the Colorado All Payer Claims Database (CO APCD) that were specific to their Community Navigation Program. Those questions included:

  1. Do elderly participants have a lower hospitalization/ER utilization compared to other senior residents in the Denver Metro area?
  2. Can the CO APCD help distinguish the money saved based on lower hospitalization and emergency room rates?
  3. Does the Community Navigation Program provide community impacts associated with improved health and reduced costs?

The CIVHC analyst team provided CAO with a custom report to help answer these questions. The data helped support their program by providing evidence of the impact of their work. They were also able to use the information to identify ways to refine and modify the program to maximize the health of participants and lower health care costs,