Friday's Feature

News, Announcements, Celebrations

  • Special request from the Farley Health Policy Center that will require 15-20 minutes of your time. The center wants to develop a relevant communication strategy to better engage those working in integrated behavioral health and primary care relative to disseminating innovations for adoption when available. This endeavor is a partnership with the Colorado Health Foundation, the Ben and Lucy Ana Walton Family Foundation, and Vemilion Design & Digital (Boulder marketing agency). Please click on this survey link and share your thoughts by March 23rd. Thanks so much for this consideration.

 Community Prevention

  • Team Sports Out of Reach for Many Colorado Kids is a story in Public Service News that highlights how children from low-income families are more likely to miss out on playing organized sports than their wealthier peers. Dr. Shale Wong, pediatrician in the Farley Health Policy Center was interviewed and commented on how investing in children pays off down the line in terms of emotional growth, relationship-building, learning confidence and resilience.

Policy Efforts

  • Bipartisan group of legislators tackles state’s opioid overdose epidemic, a story in the Colorado Springs Gazette by Joey Bunch about how there are two bipartisan bills pending before the Senate that address opioid addiction. Colorado’s opioid and heroin overdose deaths outnumbered homicides in 2015.
  • Cory Gardner, Ken Buck join Colorado hospitals in expressing doubts about GOP health care plan is a story in The Denver Post by John Ingold, Mark Matthews, and John Frank that reports how gravely concerned many Colorado health care leaders are about the proposed health plan. The Children’s Hospital Colorado CEO is especially concerned about the imposing drastic changes and major budget cuts to Medicaid.
  • Hospitals worry about caring for newly uninsured in GOP plan is a story in The Washington Post by Kelli Kennedy that features Denver Health and the uncertainty all face under this healthcare overhaul. DH could see revenue losses between $50 million $85 million by 2020.
  • Ibram X. Kendi: Stamped from the Beginning is a fascinating talk by Ibram X. Kendi, an author and historian at the University of Florida, captured on Vimeo about how the notion of a “post-racial” American is itself racist. He challenges his audience, “How is it that a candidate endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan could follow into the White House the first bi-racial president?”
  • Behavioral Health Integration in Pediatric Primary Care: Considerations and opportunities for Policymakers, Planners, and Providers is a Milbank-supported report by Elizabeth Tyler and colleagues that focuses exclusively on mental health and developmental disorders in children. It explores the prevalence of childhood behavioral health problems, describes the need for, barriers to, and models of behavioral health integration in pediatrics; and offers policy and implementation considerations for policymakers, planners, and providers. The estimation is that only 15-25% of children with psychiatric disorders receive specialty care.
  • Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate is the estimate of the budgetary effects of the American Health Care Act that combines the legislation pieces approved by the Congressional Budget Office and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation. These committees estimate that enacting the legislation would reduce federal deficits by $337 billion over the 2017-2026 period.
  • Colorado could lose out on $14 billion in federal Medicaid funding under GOP health plan, report finds is a story in The Denver Post by John Ingold about how 600,000 fewer people in the state would likely be covered by Medicaid by 2030 if Congress repeals the Affordable Care ACT and replaces it with the American Health Care Act.
  • Advocates urge lawmakers to address inadequate mental health resources in Kansas is a story by Angie Haflich on High Plains Public Radio is about how scores of Kansans concerned about inadequate mental health resources visited the Kansas Statehouse this week urging lawmakers to take notice of the issue.
  • What’s the GOP message on health care anyway? is a story covered by MJ Lee on CNN Politics is about the struggle the GOPs are having with their health plan, the least of which is messaging.
  • Child Poverty in the United States Today: Introduction and Executive Summary is a review article in Academic Pediatrics by Shale Wong and colleagues a year ago that is a compilation on the scope of childhood poverty in the United States to inform clinicians, educators, advocates, and policy makers to this critical issue facing children and their families. Seemed timely to be reminded of the impact poverty has on kids.
  • Trump Administration Proposes Big Cuts in Medical Research is an NPR story by Richard Harris about how biomedical research and public health are among the big losers in the Trump administration’s proposed budget.
  • If you’re a poor person in America, Trump’s budget is not for you is a story in The Washington Post by Steven Mufson and Tracy Jan about how the proposed budget will slash or abolish programs that have provided low-income Americans with help on virtually all fronts.
  • Killer Tide: The Mental Health Reform Act is a story covered in CBS NY that reports that the Mental Health Reform Act passed at the end of President Obama’s term was the first major mental health care legislation in a decade that said insurance companies have to cover more mental health treatment, to include money to tackle the heroin and opioid crisis. But if the ACA is repealed, people without insurance would also lose all coverage for addiction and mental health.
  • On the first day of office, new Medicaid chief urges states to charge premiums, prod recipients to get jobs is a story in The Washington Post by Amy Goldstein reported that hours after being sworn in as Director of CMMS, Seema Verma, dispatched a letter to the nation’s governors urging states to alter the insurance program for the nation’s poor by imposing insurance premiums, charging them for part of emergency room bills, and prodding them to get jobs.
  • Former Drug Czar Says GOP Health Bill Would Cut Access To Addiction Treatment is an NPR story by Rebecca Hersher about how Michael Botticelli, President Obama’s director of National Drug Control Policy who pushed Congress to pass a funding measure last year making more money available for the treatment of opioid addiction, is concerned that the proposed GOP health plan will reduce access to health services for people with addiction.
  • Why Improving Population Health Makes Financial Sense is a post by Dr. Roy Beveridge, Chief Medical Officer of Humana, on Forbes Pharma & Healthcare about how nurturing healthier communities rests in the ability of healthcare providers to remove the non-health barriers. Population health must go beyond the clinic walls to identify and integrate local non-health elements into the approach.

 Research, Data, Evaluation

  • Colorado heroin deaths jump in 2016 according to preliminary data is a story covered by Ryan Haarer from KUSA News in Denver about recent preliminary data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that shows 197 people died in Colorado in 2016 from a heroin overdose, compared to 160 in 2015 and 46 in 2010.
    • State Opioid Database Links with HER in Pilot Program is an article in Health Leaders Media by Alexandra Wilson about how in an effort to encourage physicians to use the state databases designed to counter the misuse of opioids and other controlled substances, a pilot program funded by the Bureau of Justice Assitance links the Colorado Prescription Drug Monitoring Program with the University of Colorado Hospital’s HER/EMR.
    • 7 Minutes in Heaven with a Scientist is a story captured on Vimeo involving an interview with three scientists that features research by Lisa Fazio of Vanderbilt University that confirms “if you hear something more than once, you’re more likely to believe it.” And even if you have prior knowledge that contradicts a repeated false claim you are still more likely to believe it if you hear it more than once.
  • Questioning a Taboo: Physicians’ Interruptions During Interactions with Patients is an essay posted on The JAMA Network by Dr. Larry Mauksch who is a proponent of respectful interruption and implores those who teach communication skills to help trainees distinguish between respectful interruption and less helpful forms.
  • The Cost Can Be Debated, but Meals on Wheels Gets Results is a story by Aaron E. Carroll in The Washington Post about the program that has been delivering food to older people in the United States since the 1950s and last year served 2.4 million people. This week Trump released his budget proposal and furor erupted over the program’s future and effectiveness. Studies have shown that such programs have improved the quality of people’s diet, increased their nutritional intake, reduced their food insecurity and nutritional risk, and increased the chances for human contact and improved quality of life.

SIM Update

  • Who’s ready for APMs? While there is much talk about value-based payment for healthcare services, also called alternative payment models (APMs), the SIM initiative provides resources to help its cohort practices succeed as these models become more pervasive. 270 Colorado practices are participating in these APM as reported in the Milliman’s, Colorado MACRA Readiness Report.
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