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In This Issue
Reality Check in a Time of Uncertainty
There's More Than One Way to Slice an Apple - and to Calculate Readmissions
Colorado Providers - Importers or Exporters of Services?
New CO APCD Data Provides Expansive Health Care Insights
CO APCD Receives National Award
Rural Commuication and Readmission Webinar Dec. 19
Recent News, Articles & Resources 

Downward trend in Medicare readmissions continues


High cost of care affecting premiums in CO resort towns 


Better Care at Lower Cost: Is it Possible?


Medicare "outlier" payments may be opportunity for cost savings

Reality Check in a Time of Uncertainty

By Edie Sonn, CIVHC Interim CEO and VP of Strategic Initiatives 

Edie Sonn

Change brings opportunity. And judging from the amount of change underway in Colorado's health care community right now, we've got lots of opportunity! Nonprofit organizations - including CIVHC - and state agencies are undergoing leadership transitions. Foundations are reconsidering their funding approaches. Colorado's State health Innovation Plan lays out an ambitious, multi-year agenda for health system transformation.

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There's More Than One Way to Slice an Apple - and to Calculate Readmissions

By Kristin Paulson, Senior Manager of Policy and Initiatives

There's a lot of data out there, folks. Tons, in fact. One of the statistics you hear a lot about these days is hospital readmission rates. Hospitals have a lot riding on their readmissions rates and many projects across the country focus on reducing readmissions. Hospitals have access to their own readmissions data, but that's typically where their information ends. The Colorado All Payer Claims Database now has new ways of looking at readmissions that will give hospitals and health systems deeper insights into readmissions across the state and in their own facilities like never before.  

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Colorado Providers - Importers or Exporters of Services?

By Bob Kershner, Director of Health System Payment Strategies

A potentially game-changing innovation for improving quality and controlling costs arrives on the health care scene next month. Unfortunately, though, Colorado health care facilities are not part of it...yet.


Beginning in 2014, large national employers including Wal-Mart and Lowes, will begin offering their employees the opportunity to travel to national Centers of Excellence for total hip and total knee replacements. If the employee travels to the CoE for care, they will have no out of pocket costs for any of their treatment and all travel and meal expenses, for the employees and a "helper/companion", will be paid for by the employer. There are no Colorado providers on this CoE list and, as a result, Colorado will begin exporting some of its most profitable medical procedures beyond its borders beginning next month. 

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New All Payer Claims Data Provides CO with
Expansive Health Care Insights
Commercial Insurance Readmission Rates by CO County 
CO Commercial Payer Readmissions by County. Click to enlarge

Hospital readmission rates for Medicaid and commercially insured individuals are now available on the Colorado All Payer Claims Database (APCD) website demonstrating, for the first time, quality of care provided to Coloradans under 65. Generic prescription medication use and claims from 2012 are also now available on the public site, providing Colorado communities with a more expansive view of cost and health care services being used by their population.  



"As a state, we have limited access to Medicare information, but that doesn't tell us what's happening to the broader population," explained Center for Improving Value in Health Care's (CIVHC) interim CEO, Edie Sonn. "With this latest APCD update, we now have the ability to view readmissions and other important health care metrics across the Medicaid and commercially insured populations, providing a much sought after window into health care in Colorado." 

CO All Payer Claims Database Receives National Innovation Award

Tracey Campbell (left) and Jonathan Mathieu (center) accepting the NAHDO award
CIVHC and data partner Treo Solutions, received national recognition at the National Association for Health Data Organization's annual meeting as this year's recipient of the Innovation in Data Dissemination Award. Since 2009, NAHDO has honored an organization annually with the distinguished award. The NAHDO Board of Directors established the award to recognize the importance of effectively communicating health data to the public.

CIVHC, administrator of Colorado's All Payer Claims Database (APCD), and data manager, Treo Solutions, were selected as this year's recipients due to "their commitment to provide transparent health care data in support of achieving the Triple Aim: better health, better care, and lower cost." 

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HTC Webinar Dec. 19th- Improving Communication and Readmissions in the Rural Setting (iCARE)

Healthy Transitions Colorado operating partner, the Colorado Rural Health Center, is hosting a readmissions webinar Dec. 19th, 1-2pm MT.

Description: Preventing readmissions is never easy, but addressing readmissions in a rural setting poses unique challenges that can be hard to overcome. Four years ago, the Colorado Rural Health Center (CRHC) started the Improving Communication and Readmissions project (iCARE), a rural-focused statewide improvement project to improve communication among providers and reduce avoidable hospital readmissions. Join this free webinar to learn how your rural community can improve care coordination. 

CIVHC Welcomes New Staff

Please join us in welcoming two new staff members to our team! 
  • Stephanie Spriggs joined CIVHC in early December and serves as Program Assistant in support of payment reform and policy initiatives. 
  • Alicia Goroski, MPH, is CIVHC's new Director of Performance Measurement and is responsible for overseeing the analysis, use and release of data related to the Colorado All Payer Claims Database.

Visit our staff page to learn more about our team

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.