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New Health Care Payment Approaches at Work in Colorado

New Health Care Payment Approaches at Work in Colorado

Co-authored by Edie Sonn, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, CIVHC

Changing how we pay for health care – the process of moving from the current fee-for-service, pay-for-volume method to paying instead for quality and value – takes time and effort. It won’t be an easy proposition to shift to models that support care coordination, that bundle payments for chronic diseases or that reward providers for meeting cost and quality measures.

But payment reform is being practiced, refined and implemented by public and private stakeholders across Colorado to a greater extent than many people realize. 

And in the spirit of collaboration and recognizing the need for collective effort on this important issue, the Center for Improving Value in Health Care (CIVHC) and the Colorado Health Institute (CHI) have come together to develop a new report, released today: “New Approaches to Paying for Health Care: Implications for Quality Improvement and Cost Containment in Colorado. “

The brief, the first joint publication for the two organizations, synthesizes the “what, who, why and how” of payment reform for Colorado decision-makers. It explores the rise in health care spending under the fee-for-service payment model, assesses new models that reward care coordination and quality outcomes and outlines the available research regarding their effectiveness. It also highlights innovations underway in Colorado to test, evaluate and expand these new payment models. Importantly, the report also identifies some of the challenges to implementing these new models and highlights options for addressing them.

Both CHI and CIVHC share the goal of providing information to help guide the discussion regarding payment reform in Colorado and to identify areas of opportunity to advance evidence-based solutions. The brief supports the important conversations already happening across the state about how to control the growth in health care spending.

Let us know what you think about new payment models—which issues still need to be researched and addressed, where are the untapped opportunities for partnership and collaboration, what obstacles must be overcome? We welcome your feedback and look forward to continuing this conversation.