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In This Issue
Answering Consumer Questions on Health Care Costs
New CO APCD Release Reveals More Cost Variation
Bundled Payments: The Process Starts with the Patient
Senator Michael Bennet to Keynote Healthy Transitions CO Kickoff
HHS Releases Hospital Price Data and Funding for Data Centers
Spotlight on Innovation: DRCOG's Denver Regional Care Connection
Health Datapalooza IV June 2-3
New Articles and Resources
Answering Consumer Questions on Health Care Costs
By Phil Kalin, CIVHC President and CEO 
Phil Kalin

Last month, Project Health Colorado, an initiative of The Colorado Trust, asked me to address a common theme raised in posts on their website about the lack of cost information given to patients before receiving health care services. John from Colorado Springs wrote, "It's completely unacceptable that we're letting our healthcare providers get away with NOT providing us with good faith estimates of what our portion of the charges will be!" And a post by Taneil from Boulder summed it up best. "For each procedure there should be sane ways to assess benefits and costs. People are totally uninformed in both areas."


So what changes need to be made so that consumers understand the cost of their health care before they buy it? 

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New CO APCD Release Reveals More Cost Variation
By Beth Newsom, CIVHC Data Analyst 
Beth Newsom

At the forefront of efforts to achieve the "holy grail" of health care cost and quality transparency, CIVHC continues to add data to and enhance public reporting based on the Colorado All Payer Claims Database (APCD). The latest release added an additional 400,000 covered lives. New interactive reports give users more analysis opportunities, including "Professional Claims" and "Percent Covered Population," as well as a new static report on facility costs and utilization rates for knee replacements. These reports provide new views into variation across Colorado's health care landscape. What continues to strike me, as someone who loves to dig into data and find interesting "nuggets," is the fact that regardless of the metric you choose to analyze with the APCD, there seems to be significant variation everywhere.

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Bundled Payments: The Process Begins with the Patient
By Bob Kershner, CIVHC Director of Health System Payment Strategies

Three national experts in bundled payment design and implementation spoke to a packed auditorium of more than 150 health care executives in Denver last week at CIVHC's Bundled Payment Seminar to make the case that bundled payments are changing the face of health care across the country and illustrate how Colorado providers, payers and purchasers can-must-embark on this path. The consistent message from all presenters was that bundling is not just, or even first, about controlling costs. It is a critical technique for improving quality and creating a more patient-centric health care system. 

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Senator Michael Bennet to Keynote Healthy Transitions Colorado Kickoff July 8

healthy trans. Stacked RBG

When: July 8, 7:30-10:00am

Where: University of CO Hospital, Anschutz Campus 


Description: Join CIVHC and operating partners for the Healthy Transitions Colorado campaign launch where keynote speaker Senator Michael Bennet will kick off this collaborative, multi-organizational campaign to keep Coloradan's healthy and save millions of dollars in health care costs.   

More Info and Registration

HHS Releases Hospital Price Data and Funding for Data Centers
Knee Replacement Facility Payments Graph
Click to Enlarge

Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the release of Medicare hospital charge data as part of a larger strategy to provide consumers with health care price comparisons. Along with the data release showing wide variation in charges, $87 million in funding to support state "data centers" was also announced. The data center funding is intended to support states with collecting claims data and making meaningful health care cost information available to consumers.

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Spotlight on Innovation: DRCOG's Denver Regional Care Connection
DRCOG logoThe Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) received Colorado's first Community-based Care Transitions (CCTP) Grant from the CMS Innovation Center. CCTP is a program enacted by the Accountable Care Act to pilot care transitions programs. Just over 100 pilots are being funded for three years, with the potential to receive an additional two years of funding. Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) were given special consideration due to their critical roles as community hubs. DRCOG is the Denver region's AAA serving eight counties and their transitions program, Denver Regional Care Connection (DRCC), focuses on reducing readmissions for Medicare beneficiaries with sepsis, pneumonia, heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

 Read more  

Time is running out to register for the fourth annual National Health Datapalooza event. You won't want to miss this one-of-a-kind conference featuring the newest, most innovative, and most effective uses of health data by companies, start-ups, academics, and government agencies! Check out the updated agenda for all the latest details on the great speakers and events.


Registration Information

Spreading the Triple Aim Message

Below are just a few examples of upcoming external stakeholder meetings where CIVHC is promoting better health, better care and lower costs.

  • Colorado Medical Society Spring Conference - May 4
  • CCHN Strategic Data Committee - May 8 
  • RWJ Aligning Forces for Quality - May 10
  • Residency PCMH Learning Collaborative - May 16
  • Colorado Pharmacists Society Conference - May 30

Contact us if you would like us to present at your upcoming event! 

Stay on Top of Important Reform Updates!
Looking for more ways to keep apprised of Colorado and national health care reform activities focused on the Triple Aim? Click on one of the links below to follow or like CIVHC today!
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The Center for Improving Value in Health Care is a non-profit, collaborative organization supporting the Triple Aim for health care in Colorado: better health, better care, and lower costs. We would like to thank The Colorado Trust, the Colorado Health Foundation, Rose Community Foundation and Caring for Colorado for providing funding to support our organization and focus areas.