Colorado Receives $65M Health Care Innovation Grant

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DENVER — Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014 —  Gov. John Hickenlooper today announced Colorado has been awarded $65 million in State Innovation Model (SIM) funding to create a coordinated, accountable system of care that gives Coloradans access to integrated primary care and behavioral health. Colorado will use the funding over the next four years to further develop a State Health Care Innovation Plan with a focus on improved integration of physical and behavioral health services.

“While Colorado continues to rank as one of the healthiest states in nation – from highest in physical activity to lowest in obesity – this award will support our efforts in another critical factor of well-being which is the integration of physical and behavioral health,” Hickenlooper said.

“We understand the connections between mind and body, and integration of behavioral health and with physical health services is a critical need for Colorado and our nation,” said Susan E. Birch, executive director for the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. “This grant will allow us to reach approximately 80 percent of our state’s residents to provide them with the support they need to move toward greater integration.”

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. Nearly $300 million has been awarded to 25 states to design or test improvements to their public and private health payment and delivery systems. The projects will be broad based and focus on people enrolled in private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

The $65 million grant award builds on the $2 million planning grant Colorado received in 2013. In applying for the 2014 SIM funding, Colorado identified four major goals:

  • To create a coordinated, accountable system of care that gives Coloradans access to integrated primary care and behavioral health.

  • To leverage the power of our public health system to achieve broader population health goals and support delivery of care.

  • To use outcomes-based payments to enable transformation.

  • To engage individuals in their care.

The grant proposal was led by the governor’s office, the Departments of Health Care Policy & Financing, Human Services and Public Health and Environment, Regulatory Affairs, Personnel Administration and included input from more than one hundred stakeholders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors representing governments, physical and behavioral health care providers, public and private payers, and advocates.  The Department of Health Care Policy & Financing will be the primary implementing state agency for the proposal.  

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