Denver – March 20, 2017 – There are less than two weeks left to apply for the Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM), a federal initiative that helps primary care practices integrate behavioral and physical health in primary care settings and test alternative payment models. There are 92 SIM primary care practice sites and four bidirectional behavioral health homes, and the goal is to add at least 150 practices to this group of healthcare innovators.
The initiative is designed to help healthcare providers progress along an integrated care path continuum that might start with referrals to behavioral health or primary care providers and could lead to co-location of professionals. Integrated care has been shown to improve outcomes, reduce costs and enhance provider morale. About 900 SIM providers are delivering this type of care.
“A focus on both behavioral and physical health are important to the health of patients and the ability of providers to succeed in a changing healthcare landscape,” said Gov. Hickenlooper. “The SIM initiative is helping patients lead more productive lives, and guiding practices through new models.”
“In many ways this is pioneering work,” says Donna Lynne, Lt. Governor. “We have the willpower and willingness to be innovative in Colorado, and we appreciate the fact that SIM providers are leaders in this space.”
Colorado is one of 11 states selected for SIM model test awards funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and it was the only state to focus on integrated care with public and private payers as its primary goal. The state will receive $65 million from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to implement and test its model for healthcare innovation, and SIM is expected to save or avoid $126.6 million in healthcare costs during its four-year time frame.
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