College of Nursing accepted into first cohort of State Innovation Model of whole-person care

Sheridan Health Services, owned and operated by the CU College of Nursing, was accepted into the Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM), a federally funded, governor’s office initiative that helps primary care providers deliver whole-person care.

It is one of 24 practices in Denver County to participate in SIM and was part of the first cohort that completed its work in March, and one of 11 practices in Arapahoe County to be accepted into the federally funded, governor’s office initiative.

SIM will support a total of three practice cohorts, which run through July 2019. About 1,847 SIM providers in cohorts 1-2 deliver care during 3,342,018 annual patient visits.

“SIM providers in these cohorts must focus on the entire patient, which means addressing mind, body and
mental wellness,” said Donna Lynne, lieutenant governor and chief operating officer, who has many years of leadership experience in the health care sector. “That complete approach to health is what makes the SIM initiative is so valuable. Patients get the care they need when they need it, and providers learn how to succeed with new payment models. It’s a great example of meaningful reform in our state.”

Patients interviewed by SIM staff notice and appreciate the work done by practices. “It’s powerful for me, as a patient, to land somewhere I feel well taken care of,” said Mary Catherine Conger, a patient at Roaring Fork Family Practice, during a SIM podcast (https://bit.ly/2nzuieO).

Whole-person care

Colorado was the only state (out of 11 selected for a SIM model test award) to focus on integrated behavioral and physical health care supported by public and private payers as its primary goal. The initiative helps providers progress along an integrated care path continuum that can start with referrals and could lead to colocation of behavioral and physical health professionals in primary care settings. Integrated care improves patient outcomes, reduces health care costs, and enhances provider morale.

The efforts also benefit providers. “I partner with the providers to achieve my goals and improve the quality of my life. My family appreciates the continuity between dentistry, pharmacy, primary care, and behavioral health,” said Sally Daigle, a patient who is also the Board President and Mayor Pro-Tem of Sheridan.

SIM launched with 100 practice sites in 2016, added 155 practices in 2017 and will help about 25 percent of the state’s primary care sites and four community mental health centers deliver whole-person care. The state will receive $65 million from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to implement this model for health care innovation, which is expected to save or avoid $126.6 million in health care costs for CMS, with a 1.95 return on investment during its four-year time frame.

Learn more at the SIM website. See how integrated care improves health.

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