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The Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM) is a governor’s office initiative that is helping primary care practice sites integrate behavioral and physical health in primary care settings and learn how to succeed with alternative payment models. SIM is funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and was created in December, 2014, when Colorado was awarded up to $65 million in the form of a cooperative agreement to implement and test its proposal.
The overarching goal of Colorado SIM is to improve the health of Coloradans by increasing access to integrated physical and behavioral healthcare services in coordinated community systems, with value-based payment structures, for 80 percent of state residents by 2019. There is strong evidence that treating physical health, mental health and substance use disorders together reduces or avoids unnecessary health care costs and addresses the ever-increasing burden of chronic disease.
The SIM initiative will work with 25% of the state's primary care practice sites and four community mental health centers during its four-year time frame, which ends in July 2019. See an interactive map of all SIM practices: www.co.gov/healthinnovation/sim-data-hub.
The Colorado State Innovation Model touches nearly every aspect of our health system, setting the stage for a sweeping transformation that will help us accelerate our progress toward the Triple Aim of lower costs, better care and improved population health. It will also allow us to reach our goal of becoming the healthiest state.
Our vision is bold. Central to transforming the Colorado health system is the integration of behavioral health and primary care, a necessary step in our accelerated achievement of the Triple Aim. Our integration efforts will be supported by an improved public health infrastructure. In turn, behavioral health integration will improve population health by addressing behavioral factors that often impede the management of chronic health problems, especially obesity, smoking and diabetes. Improving access to behavioral health services and programs for most Coloradans is the cornerstone of the Colorado transformation effort.
Under our plan, we will offer truly integrated physical and behavioral health care. A broad range of public health programs will extend health care, including disease prevention, on a population-wide scale. Payment systems will evolve to ensure that our new model of care is sustainable for the long haul. Data will be used effectively and securely to support innovation. And Coloradans will be at the center, with the power and opportunity to make the best choices possible for their own health.
Our vision is attainable, particularly because we are building on important work that is already underway. And Coloradans know how to work together to accomplish big projects. Today, stakeholders throughout the state and from the full spectrum of the health community are on board to collaborate on our SIM proposal. Key partners include six leading public and commercial payers and primary care providers covering the majority of the state population.
There is urgency in our work. While we have a strong, collaborative foundation, health costs continue to rise, patients receive fragmented care and key population metrics must be improved. SIM will allow Colorado to strengthen our efforts in primary and behavioral care and broaden our reach to most Coloradans.
The overarching goal of Colorado SIM is to improve the health of Coloradans by increasing access to integrated physical and behavioral health services in coordinated community systems, with value-based payment structures, for 80 percent of state residents by 2019. There is strong evidence that treating physical health, mental health and substance use disorders together will help us take aim at the ever-increasing burden of chronic disease. Our plan, called The Colorado Framework, creates a system of supports, both clinic-based and through expanded public health efforts, to spur integration.
But while integrated care is necessary, it is not sufficient to achieving the healthiest state possible. We recognize that health outcomes are strongly impacted by social, economic and environmental factors. Based on the social determinants of health model, the Colorado SIM proposal leverages the efforts of public health to support the clinical health transformation.
The resources from SIM are supporting the integration of physical and behavioral healthcare in hundreds of primary care practices and four community mental health centers, expanding health information technology efforts, including telehealth, leading a robust evaluation program that measures both processes and outcomes, finalizing our statewide plan to improve population health, and helping to bring commercial and public health insurance carriers together to support practices with alternative payment models. The SIM initiative ends in July 2019, but the work of SIM will have a lasting affect on healthcare in the state for years to come.