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In This Issue
Tipping Point on Health Care Prices?
Colorado APCD Data to Hit the National Transparency Scene
Spotlight on Innovation: Southeast Health Group's Tipping Point
Current SGR Bill Loosens Medicare Data Restrictions
APCD Data Used to Inform High Prices of Resort Exchange Rates
CO Health Alliances: Leading Change Locally
Recent News

The 10 Most Expensive Insurance Markets In The U.S.

 

Realizing the Potential of All-Payer Claims Databases

 

AMA fears privacy loss as Medicare moves to reveal doc pay

 

Cracking the Code on Health Care Costs

 

Patients' Costs Skyrocket; Specialists' Incomes Soar 

Tipping Point on Health Care Prices?

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

Captain Renault in "Casablanca" was "shocked - shocked!" to discover there was gambling taking place in Rick's Café. Of course, he wasn't shocked at all; in fact, he uttered that line as he was being handed a pile of money by a croupier. That brief encounter brilliantly encapsulated a cynical culture in which everyone was on the take, yet pretended they weren't.

 

I'm reminded of this line as I listen to the increasingly loud clamor over the cost of health care in this country, and more recently in the resort towns of Colorado.  From Steven Brill's "Bitter Pill" article in Time magazine about the price of hospital care, to the outcry over variations in health care premiums in different parts of our state - suddenly, everyone is talking about things that folks in the health care industry have known, but done little about, for years. 

Colorado APCD Data to Hit the National Transparency Scene

BJonathan Mathieu, CIVHC Director of Data and Research
Jonathan Mathieu
The latest long, fairly difficult to remember acronym to come into play for CIVHC and the Colorado All Payer Claims Database is "HRCMT".  While none of us have been waiting around to learn another health care acronym, the Healthcare Regional Cost Measurement and Transparency project has the promise to make a big impact nationally using data from the Colorado APCD and other similar databanks in other states. 

Spotlight on Innovation: Southeast Health Group's Tipping Point

 By Stephanie Spriggs, CIVHC Program Assistant

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Under the big sky of the Eastern Plains, the Southeast Health Group (SHG) is helping residents of Prowers County gain access to behavioral and primary health care through the initiative TIPPING POINT: Total Integration, Patient Navigation and Provider Training Project. The three-year project estimates a savings of over $1.8 million and is aiming to help chronic disease patients better manage their health. 

    Read more 

Current SGR Bill Loosens Medicare Data Restrictions

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CIVHC has been working with our colleagues at the Wisconsin Health Information Organization (WHIO), the Wisconsin Center for Healthcare Quality and the ThedaCare Center for Value for more than a year to loosen the restrictions on use of Medicare claims data by qualified entities (QEs), a certification which CIVHC has achieved.  The current version of the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) bill enables CIVHC, as a Qualified Entity, to combine Medicare data with that from Medicaid and commercial payers and recoup costs to provide customized, non-public data sets and reports to certain types of users.  While the bill is not yet law, we are encouraged at the bipartisan support for this change.  CIVHC would like to thank our champions within the Colorado congressional delegation, Representatives Cory Gardner and Diana DeGette, and Senator Michael Bennet, without whose help we would not have reached this point.

Read More on the Qualified Entity Program 

APCD Data Used to Inform High Prices of Resort Exchange Rates

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon, Health News Colorado

Click to Enlarge

Blame the helicopters.

One of Colorado's least populated counties leads the state in health costs per person, according to new 2012 data from Colorado's All Payer Claims Database (APCD).

Mineral County in southern Colorado is home to just one town, Creede. It also has beautiful public lands that were ravaged by wildfires last summer and a population of about 700 that skews older and therefore sometimes sicker. Geographically isolated by canyons and mountain passes, the people of Mineral County face long trips if they need to be hospitalized

    Read more 

CO Health Alliances: Leading Change Locally

By Joe Sammen, Director of Community Initiatives, Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved

Today's health care landscape is changing rapidly, and the action at the state and national level is receiving a lot of attention. However, much is happening at the local level, too. Local communities are coming together and taking the initiative to improve their own health care systems in exciting and innovative ways. Although certainly catalyzed by recent state and national health reforms, this movement has been gaining steam for years.

   Read more 

Stay on Top of Important Reform Updates!
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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.