Statement in Support of Behavioral Health Integration Goals of State Innovation Model

Statement in Support of Behavioral Health Integration Goals of State Innovation Model

June 23, 2015

Media Contact
Marc Williams

DENVER, CO – Today, many health insurance providers in Colorado announced their commitment to improving integration of physical and behavioral health care as part of the State Innovation Model initiative.  Medicaid provides low cost or free health insurance for one in five Coloradans. Below is a statement from Health Care Policy and Financing Executive Director Susan E. Birch MBA, BSN, RN. 

“Today was a significant step forward for Coloradans who will benefit from the integration of physical and behavioral health. We understand the connections between mind and body, and integration of behavioral health with physical health services is a critical need for Colorado and our nation.

At Colorado Medicaid, we have been making important steps towards integration of physical and behavioral health over the past several years. Our Accountable Care Collaborative (ACC) program has encouraged care coordination and integration since its inception in 2011, building upon medical home models and local community supports. We now have more than 800,000 Coloradans served by the ACC program; the majority have a medical home to help coordinate care. 

Colorado Medicaid has invested in practice transformation through our Accountable Care Collaborative program since launching in 2011. This fiscal year alone, we have invested more than $19 million in Per Member Per Month payments to providers and more than $75 million in payments to Regional Care Collaborative Organizations (RCCOs) to help them achieve transformation and for meeting quality metrics. 

Health system transformation efforts led by Medicaid are fully aligned with the State Innovation Model. Specifically Colorado Medicaid has aligned with the State Innovation Model goals by:

  • Providing enhanced Per Member Per Month payments to providers who reach enhanced care factors; two factors feature behavioral health integration:
    • On-site access to behavioral health care providers
    • Regular behavioral health and/or developmental screening procedures
  • Introducing new performance measures that will facilitate behavioral health integration at the practice level and for improvements in adolescent and adult depression screening rates as part of the RCCO incentive pool. 
  • Investing in telehealth technology to support behavioral health integration and to support the Accountable Care Collaborative’s plan to create medical neighborhoods through cutting-edge telehealth technology connecting primary care medical providers with specialists to treat chronic pain and reduce prescription painkiller abuse.

Medicaid is just one provider of health insurance, to achieve transformation of our health care system all payers need to be committed to integration of behavioral and physical health care.  The announcement today shows a commitment from multiple payers to move the state closer to its goal of providing 80% of our state’s residents with the support they need to move towards greater behavioral health integration.

We look forward to working with providers, private insurance carriers and others across the community to improve how health care is delivered in Colorado. Improved integration of physical and behavioral health is yet another step that will help Colorado become the healthiest state in the nation.” 


About the State Innovation Model:  The SIM initiative provides federal funding for states to develop and test their own state-based models for multi-payer payment and health care delivery system transformation. The initiative’s goal is to improve health system performance for residents of those states participating in the SIM project.

About the Accountable Care Collaborative: The ACC is Colorado Medicaid’s program to improve health and reduce costs. More than 800,000 Coloradans are in the program. Medicaid members in the Accountable Care Collaborative receive the regular Medicaid benefit package and belong to a Regional Care Collaborative Organization. The program has seven geographical regions, each served by a specific Regional Care Collaborative Organization. These regional organizations provide care coordination, connect members to primary care (a medical home), specialists and community resources as needed.

About the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing: The Department administers the Medicaid and Child Health Plan Plus programs as well as a variety of other programs for low-income Coloradans who qualify. For more information about the department, please visit