The CO APCD is a state-legislated, secure health care claims database compliant with all federal privacy and antitrust laws. It is the only claims repository in the state that represents the vast majority of insured lives in Colorado, with more than ten years of data from commercial health insurance payers, Medicaid, and Medicare.

Contents of the CO APCD

The CO APCD currently contains over one billion claims for over 70% of Coloradans with medical coverage (over 5 million unique individuals across all coverage types), with information from commercial health insurance plans, voluntarily-submitted Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) self-insured and mandated non-ERISA self-insured employer plans, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS), and Medicaid. The CO APCD does not contain claims for people covered by Federal health insurance programs such as the Veterans Administration, TRICARE, Federal Employees Health Benefits, or Indian Health Services, and does not include information for uninsured Coloradans. For more information regarding the number of lives, payers, and more that are in the CO APCD, and how it has changed over time, visit the CO APCD Insights Dashboard.

Over 200 million claims from 2009-2011 have been archived and are not available for release from the CO APCD. The archived data is not included in total CO APCD volumes or in the online CO APCD Insights Dashboard.

Due to a 2016 ruling by the United States Supreme Court, states cannot mandate submission of claims data from self-insured Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) employer plans to APCDs. Self-insured claims are estimated to represent half of the total commercially insured lives in Colorado and CIVHC estimates that the CO APCD currently contains approximately 50% of all self-insured plans, including 25% of ERISA self-insured plans.

Getting Claims into the CO APCD

Explanations of how claims data and the CO APCD work can be technical and difficult to follow. This graphic helps make it easier to understand how claims come to the CO APCD and how CIVHC is able to use it.

1. Sowing Seeds - When a Coloradan with insurance sees a doctor, their provider gets paid by sending a claim. These claims are like seeds of grain. 2. A Plentiful Harvest - Health insurance companies are similar to farmers. They harvest the grain and send it to be stored in a community silo, operated by CIVHC. 3. A Collective Resource - The silo represents the CO APCD. CIVHC oversees the silo while also milling the collected grain into flower for use by the community. 4. Guaranteeing Good Grain - CIVHC tests the grain to make sure its good before processing, storing, or turning it into flower. Bakers like CO APCD data users need high quality ingredients. 5. Assisting Individual Efforts- When bakers want to bake a certain type of bread or pastry for their shops, they ask CIVHC to mill a specific type and amount of flower (data). 6. Supporting the Community - CIVHC also uses the flour to make different kinds of baked goods. These feed the community at no cost, similar to public CO APCD data releases on

How the CO APCD is Used

CIVHC releases CO APCD data in two ways:

  • Non-public releases, For individuals or organizations to use to improve care for Coloradans.
  • Public data, for anyone to use to help make data-driven health decisions.
Logos of the different Change Agents who have used CO APCD data. These Change Agents include Colorado Department of Health and Energy, Children's Hospital Colorado, The American Diabetes Association, UC Health, the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Finance, and many more.

Non-Public Data Releases

CIVHC provides non-public data sets and reports to organizations and researchers seeking to lower costs and improve the quality of health care. Every release of data must benefit Colorado, as mandated by CO APCD regulations, as well as adhere to federal privacy and anti-trust laws. Learn about projects powered by CO APCD data on the Change Agent Index.

A screenshot of CIVHC's Health Equity Analysis.

There are several ways non-public CO APCD data is provided, depending on the question the requestor is hoping to answer and their experience using claims data. For Change Agents who do not have time or the expertise to analyze data on their own, CIVHC can provide a Custom or Standard report in a business intelligence or data visualization tool like Tableau or Excel. When partners have a strong analytic background and are interested in performing their own analyses using tools of their choosing, CIVHC provides them with a Custom or Standard Data Set. Depending on the level of personal health information (PHI) required, data sets are De-Identified, Limited, or Fully Identifiable. Every request containing any element of PHI is reviewed in detail by the Data Release and Review Committee to ensure they meet all state and federal privacy regulations prior to approval and production.

Public Data Releases

A screenshot of CIVHC's Shop for Care tool

Increasing access to transparent health care data for all Change Agents is foundational to the legislative vision of the CO APCD, CIVHC’s mission, and Colorado’s ability to make informed decisions that will have lasting benefit for Coloradans. Making public analyses and interactive tools available on is one of the methods CIVHC employs to bring transparency to the health care marketplace. The Shop for Care tool, also available in Spanish, is available to help patients identify where they can go to receive the best care at the lowest price for procedures and services.

Public releases of CO APCD data are used widely in Colorado and across the nation and, in some cases, are provided as in-kind donations to help Change Agents who do not have the resources for to access a full non-public release. Visit to access all publicly available reports, and contact us at to see if your project qualifies for an in-kind public release.