Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Colorado Health Foundation grants $2.9 million to support team-based care

The Colorado Health Foundation Oct. 6 announced $2.9 million in funding to support 20 Colorado primary care practices in their efforts to improve team-based care in the clinical setting. Research demonstrates that collaborative, comprehensive teamwork in the primary care setting yields better quality and more affordable health care—leading to improved health outcomes for Coloradans.

The primary care practices have been awarded up to $150,000 in grants or zero-interest loans to support their ongoing efforts to enhance team-based care. Health provider teams will work with patients and their caregivers to accomplish shared goals within and across settings to achieve coordinated, high-quality care. The clinics represent a wide range of practices: large and small; urban and rural; nonprofit and for-profit.

Each clinic also has different goals to strengthen their team-based care practice. For example, some will better integrate physical, behavioral or oral health care, while others are working to improve patient data, workflow or engagement. Awarded practices also have access to technical assistance, a practice coach and a learning collaborative to help them advance basic principles of team-based care such as shared goals, clear roles, mutual trust, measurable processes and outcomes, and effective communication.

Colorado was recently awarded a $65 million SIM grant from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to increase access to integrated primary care and behavioral health services. Funding granted through the SIM will support these services in more than 400 primary care practices and community mental health centers throughout the state.

Both initiatives will keep Colorado on the cutting edge of team-based, patient-centered medical home demonstration. The latest Colorado Health Report Card Data Spotlight, “Colorado Medical Homes: Creating Healthy Connections," shows more than two million Coloradans—40 percent of the state’s population—are now connected to a patient-centered medical home.

While the report clearly demonstrates that adoption of the medical home is on the rise, many challenges lie ahead. A companion report, "Ideas and Next Steps" highlights the challenges in building and sustaining a successful medical home—such as cultural change, payment reform, workforce and technology—and how Colorado is well-positioned to address these opportunities moving forward.

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