Creating a picture of health for Colorado can be challenging. There are many complex and interrelated issues and many players involved – both inside and outside of the health care system.
In Colorado, many organizations are only able to focus on the individual pieces of our state’s health care system. CIVHC is unique in that we are looking at the entire picture. We aim to identify the pieces that are out of place, missing or simply don’t fit, and understand their impact on the structure as a whole. In this way, we can recommend needed system-wide changes across the health care spectrum and engage stakeholders in achieving improved health care quality and cost containment.
CIVHC's current strategic initiatives were selected based on national and local evidence of high impact opportunities to reduce cost and improve the patient experience:
These initiatives address many health care issues facing Colorado:
- The current health care system is not consumer-centric. Consumers are rarely encouraged to fully participate in decision making regarding their health, and patient satisfaction is not a determinant of how providers are paid. Furthermore, consumers have virtually no access to critical information necessary for making informed decisions about the cost and quality of their care.
- The Colorado Health Foundation’s 2009 Health Report Card states that “Colorado rates only average or below average on a number of critical health care indicators to measure overall health.” Less than optimal measures of population health can negatively impact Colorado’s business environment, the state’s economy and the overall quality of life of Colorado residents.
- The New America Foundation1 estimates that, without changing the current path of cost increases, the cost of health care for a family of four in Colorado will rise from 19 percent of gross income in 2009 to more than 30 percent of gross income over the next 10 years. There is broad consensus that the current rise in the cost of health care and the related health premiums is unsustainable.
- Businesses in a competitive marketplace succeed based their ability to meet consumers’ desires regarding cost, quality and customer service. To make the marketplace work, customers need readily available and transparent information about all of those measures.
It is believed that one of the reasons health care costs are rising so quickly and quality is so variable in the U.S. is that the marketplace lacks such transparency. In Colorado there exists no centralized source of information on health care cost, quality and safety.
CIVHC’s vision is to address these challenges and make Colorado a national leader in health and high-quality and affordable health care. To achieve this, CIVHC is committed to continuing to identify and advance initiatives that contribute to an efficient, high-quality and transparent health care system for Colorado. These may be demonstration projects that are created and executed by CIVHC or best practices from communities around the state that are modified to have a statewide impact.
1 Calculations by Len Nichols, New America Foundation, using Kaiser Family Foundation and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality premium data, Current Population Survey income data, plus projections from Carpenter and Axeen, The Cost of Doing Nothing, 2008.