Rapid-cycle report provides insight into SIM progress

Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM) practices are making progress with required clinical quality measure reporting for the initiative, according to a rapid cycle report produced by TriWest, SIM state evaluator. The SIM initiative, which is funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, is helping primary care practice sites integrate behavioral and physical health during its four-year time frame, which started in 2016.

This Fourth Quarter Evaluation Findings report, which focuses on data quality, includes insights from key informant interviews, data from the four quarters of the initiative and practice site vignettes. A total of 39 interviews were conducted with stakeholders from state agencies, foundations, SIM partners and work group members that focused on collaboration, alignment, workforce, payment reform, practice transformation and health information technology.

The SIM team has reviewed the report and will use the findings to guide future work. Click here for an overview of how the SIM team will address these findings.

Data quality
For example, this report’s focus on data quality, which is outlined on page 8, will help guide future work with clinical health information technology advisors (CHITAs), inform outreach efforts with electronic health record (EHR) vendors and help practices identify ways to improve the quality of data that is entered into EHRs.

On a higher level, the work that SIM practices are doing to improve the quality of their data will help position them for success with alternative payment models (APMs) that reward providers for the value vs. volume of healthcare delivered. This shift from a fee-for-service model will require providers to have a better sense of the health of their patient populations, which requires the type of data collection and analysis guidance practices receive from SIM.

“This work helps provide the foundation for preparing practices to participate in APMs,” explained Tonya Aultman-Bettridge, PhD, principal, TriWest, during a recent presentation of rapid-cycle report findings. That type of success, she added, “requires that [practice] sites have the ability to report on the health of their patients and these indicators of the care that is being provided.”

Looking at four quarters of data from the first implementation year, which ends in July, SIM evaluators noted an improvement in data quality. In fact, 51% of cohort-1 practices captured data elements needed for consistent and accurate clinical quality measure (CQM) reporting.

In addition to progress with CQM reporting, this report highlights barriers to the collection of consistent and accurate data, which will be used to help SIM customize future implementation efforts.

The report drills down into the number of SIM cohort-1 practices that reported on CQMs by quarter and the number of practices that reported on each measure. It is important to note that this data reflects changes in composition of practices (eight practices dropped out of the first cohort) and changes to the metrics.

Transformation in practice
In addition to several data graphs, and feedback from SIM stakeholders about the need for more cohesive communication across workgroups, the report outlines the SIM investment in practice coaching with vignettes that outline three different experiences with practice facilitators and CHITAs. These vignettes give a perspective on the type of work that is being done in SIM practices and how coaching varies across the state.

Stay tuned for more information about future rapid-cycle reports and check the SIM data page for updates on CQMs and other SIM practice data. Also, tune in to our data podcast “Innovation Insights” to learn more about the data and evaluation strategy from SIM team members: https://soundcloud.com/user-118904494/sim-data-the-story-behind-the-numbers/s-IcDIV


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