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Local and National News

Archives of Current and Past Headlines

Jan 2012 - Experts call for integrating mental health into primary care

A young woman's diagnosis of infertility leads her to commit suicide a short time later much to the horror of her caring and well-intentioned doctor, who never saw it coming. He thinks it may have been avoided if there had been a mental health professional on his staff. This is one of many stories recounted in a Mental Health Forum and Town Hall held by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) at its September annual meeting. 

Nov 2011 - Ben Miller Elected President of CFHA

Benjamin Miller, PsyD, is the new president of the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association.

Oct 2011 - Ned Calonge Elected into Institute of Medicine

Bruce Ned Calonge, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Family Medicine and President and CEO of The Colorado Trust will be inducted at next year IOM annual meeting.

September 2011 - Family physicians driving PCMH success

Among them is Scott Hammond, MD. His practice, Westminster Medical Clinic of Westminster, Colo., is one of 16 PCMH practices involved in a project funded by the state's largest private insurance providers. Since beginning the pilot, Hammond's practice has reported quality improvement gains in diabetes and cardiovascular care measures. The practice is also more viable and staff members are happier.

August 2011 - Advancing Care Together (ACT) Aims to Combine Physical and Mental Health Treatment: 11 New Sites Create ACT Portfolio

A new and collaborative program led by medical experts at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus aims to bring together local, state and national leaders focused on improving primary care, mental health care and substance abuse treatment. The Advancing Care Together (ACT) program will tap the expertise of clinicians on the front line and work with them to change their practices by addressing the fragmentation that has led to the separate treatment of physical and mental health problems. This three-year program is funded by the Colorado Health Foundation and will be housed at the CU School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine.

August 2011 - Shared decision making leads to better outcomes

Patients who are active participants in managing their health and care have better outcomes than patients who are passive recipients, Jane Sarasohn-Kahn writes in her Health Populi blog. Activated patients have better treatment adherence, are less likely to choose major surgery when offered and have more accurate risk perceptions. Overall, activation leads to more appropriate health service utilization--and potentially lower costs.

August 2011 - Using Shared-Savings Strategies to Cut Health Care Costs

New approaches to health care payment that encourage providers to reduce medical spending by allowing them to share in the net savings have attracted considerable interest recently. These wide-ranging approaches have been driven by the push for performance-based payment for medical homes and other providers, as well as the Affordable Care Act's accountable care organization provisions.

August 2011 - Colorado demonstration project to build on success

Sixteen Colorado primary care practices were among those participating in one of the nation's first multi-payer, multi-state patient centered medical home pilots. Convened by HealthTeamWorks, the project began in 2008 and runs through 2012. Early results have been positive, Marjie Harbrecht, MD, CEO, HealthTeamWorks, writes in Colorado Health News. "Practices have made tremendous strides in building infrastructure, including on-site care management services. Trends are showing improvement on quality measures, coordination of care and satisfaction." Among this phase's goals: Expand connections with "medical neighborhoods.

July 2011 - Health Affairs paper looks at Medicaid medical home success

Seeking to address Medicaid's soaring costs and lagging health outcomes, several states are promoting patient centered medical homes. Early results show promising trends in costs, quality, and access to care. A Commonwealth Fund-supported article in Health Affairs focuses on 17 states that are aligning medical home standards with incentive payments to support primary care reform. "These early results give states good reason to continue developing patient centered medical homes as part of their Medicaid programs."

July 2011 - What Other States Can Learn from Vermont's Bold Experiment: Embracing a Single-Payer Health Care Financing System

Vermont's newly passed single-payer health care financing law will produce annual savings of 25.3 percent compared with current spending, cut employer and household spending by $200 million, create 3,800 jobs, and boost the state's overall economic output by $100 million, according to this Commonwealth Fund–supported study.

July 2011 - U.S. Continues to Far Outspend Other Nations on Health Care

For more than a decade, The Commonwealth Fund has analyzed data on comparative health system performance compiled annually by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In a new issue brief, Fund researchers report on a range of OECD health data from 12 industrialized countries, including the U.S.

May 2011 - Professionalism First at the University of Colorado School of Medicine

An educational campaign that heightens awareness as to the importance of professionalism, promotes learner and faculty development, and highlights the school’s new process for students and residents to report lapses in or exemplary professional behavior by faculty and residents.

March 2011 - Frank deGruy's Health Care Vision in High Demand as a Family Medicine Man

The vision that family medicine should be the hub of a patient-centered health care system integrating generalists as well as mental health and other specialists - has endured and is now taking more distinct form.

Mar 2011 - HHS Publishes Strategy to Improve National Health Care Quality 

The Health & Human Services Department has released the National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care. The HHS strategy includes calls for increased adoption of electronic health records, which are foundational for many projects that will realize HHS' goals. The strategy was required under the health reform law and is the first effort to create national aims and priorities to guide local, state and national efforts to improve health care quality.

Mar 2011 - New Report Offers Consensus on ACOs, PCMH

The evidence of success of the medical home combined with the need for accountable delivery system reform demands action--and stakeholders have arrived at a consensus about what that consensus should look like, according to Better to Best: Value-Driving Elements of the PCMH and ACO a new report from the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative, in partnership with The Commonwealth Fund and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. The report outlines action steps and recommendations for policy, demonstration programs and research

Mar 2011 - Sharing Resources: Opportunities for Smaller Primary Care Practices to Increase Their Capacity for Patient Care

Findings from the 2009 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey of Primary Care Physicians

Mar 2011 - Top Ranks by US News and World Report

The University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Department of Family Medicine once again earned high rankings nationally in the U.S. News & World Report annual survey of medical schools.

Feb 2011 - Prestigious Award Received by Our Own Laura Borgelt 

Laura M. Borgelt, associate professor, CU-Denver, Clinical Pharmacy and Family Medicine was awarded the Elizabeth D. Gee Memorial Lectureship Award, which recognizes and honors an outstanding CU faculty member for efforts to advance women in academia, interdisciplinary scholarly contributions and distinguished teaching. 

Feb 2011 - The Safety Net Medical Home Initiative

Health centers in Colorado, Idaho, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Pennsylvania—each of which partnered with 10 to 15 safety-net clinics in their state—are receiving technical assistance, training, and ongoing support in order to improve how they deliver care to patients, including better coordinating care, enhancing access to care, improving doctor–patient interactions, and implementing quality improvements. The health centers also receive funding to support a medical home facilitator who leads clinic-based quality improvement projects and other activities.

Feb 2011 - Child Obesity Summit Held in Denver

Community members and the U.S Surgeon General’s Office teamed up on February 5, 2011 to battle childhood obesity. The “2040 Partners for Health” hosted a health summit at Johnson and Wales University in Denver.

Feb 2011 - State Roles in Promoting Accountable Care Organizations

The Affordable Care Act provides incentives for providers to form accountable care organizations (ACOs) as a way to encourage care coordination and reduce health costs. A new report from The Commonwealth Fund and the National Academy for State Health Policy examines key ways in which states have supported development of the ACO model, focusing on Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.​