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In This Issue
Big Data: Key Ingredients for Informing Innovation
My Prescription is How Much?
APCD Harness the Power of the Internet
Spotlight on Innovation: A Home of One's Own: Colorado Coalition for the Homeless
Articles of Interest

Banner Network Colorado Enters Into Value-Based Agreement with Humana 


Colorado Health Plans Collaborate to Create Data-Sharing Solution for Care Providers 


Telling the Story of Health Reform in Colorado 


How Health Insurance Premiums are Determined - DORA 


It's Time to Integrate Mental and Physical Health 


Rate Falls for Often-Deadly Ailments Acquired in U.S. Hospitals 


Small Group of Specialty Drugs Could Make Up Half of Total Pharmacy Spending by 2018 

Big Data: Key Ingredients for Informing Innovation
By Ana English, CIVHC President and CEO
The term "Big Data" is a popular phrase these days across social media and blogs, especially when it comes to health care. It's not surprising given the challenges we're facing with health care at the national level and the fact that data is key to managing any improvement effort. While the term "Big Data" is becoming synonymous with the golden ticket, it has the potential to become dangerous when used too broadly without a common definition. When it comes to data - "big" or "small" - not all are created equal, but the power of the right data can be instrumental to identify and inform meaningful, innovative change. 
My Prescription is How Much?
By Marcus Tuepker, CIVHC Business Systems Analyst

When we think of filling our prescriptions with generic drugs, we generally consider them a low cost, equally effective alternative to a brand name medication.  We've also heard about the power of generics to move the price of brand name drugs and lower prescription medication spending overall. A recent example of this is Lipitor. Lipitor (generic name Atorvastatin) is a widely used cholesterol lowering medication that became available in the last half of 2012 as a generic. The generic version provided a lower cost option at less than one third of the cost of the name brand Lipitor. CIVHC analysis of data from the Colorado All Payer Claims Database pre and post-introduction of the generic version of Lipitor shows that the price per day for the brand Lipitor also dropped substantially as a result of generic competition which provided consumers with more alternatives.

APCD Harnesses the Power of the Internet
By Jonathan Mathieu, CIVHC Director of Data and Research
Jonathan Mathieu
Originally appeared in the November/December issue of Colorado Medicine.

In recent years, the Internet has empowered consumers to make informed choices on products and services on everything from restaurants to books to plumbing. Yet, when it comes to health care, we've been essentially stuck in the horse-and-buggy days.

That's because, until recently, there's been a dearth of reliable performance data to help patients, employers, and providers make informed decisions that help to improve quality and reduce costs. For example, how are consumers supposed to know a reasonable price to pay for a knee-replacement surgery if they can't compare pricing among those who provide the service? On the other side of the examination table, providers focused on making their services more efficient are hamstrung given the lack of meaningful data on how much medical services cost.

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Spotlight on Innovation: A Home of One's Own: Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and the Stout Street Health Center
By Stephanie Spriggs, CIVHC Program Assistant

One night in early November, Denver weather broke a temperature record by plummeting to 13 degrees below zero. Winter is a deadly season for the homeless population, yet through the efforts of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, the newly opened Stout Street Health Center, and the adjoining Renaissance Stout Street Lofts, this year fewer people will be on the street.

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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.