Friday May 5, 2017 0 comments
DENVER -- About 350 health care experts, health care providers, insurance industry reps and interested others sat down together Thursday and took a giant step toward creating a strategic action plan aimed at making Colorado’s health care system the best in the nation by 2020.
Improving access to health care, making it more affordable, better matching resources to patient needs and figuring out how to more efficiently share data between providers were some of the issues tackled by attendees at the daylong Prime Health Innovation Summit.
“This is a way to join hands and try to solve some of these wicked problems,” said Steve Adams, Prime Health interim CEO, who addressed the Summit attendees before they broke into groups to focus on specific parts of the health care puzzle.
“We are here to harness your power and focus on the state’s great health care challenges,” said Mary Anne Leach, director of the Colorado Office of eHealth Innovation (OeHI).
“We will measure success if a year from now we can move the (health care) needle, but we have a lot of work to do.”
Prime Health -- an organization focused on advancing digital health innovation -- and OeHi hosted the Summit in downtown Denver at the foot of the state Capitol, where Gov. John Hickenlooper, policy experts and lawmakers will ultimately seek to develop a statewide plan to guide Colorado’s health care path over the next three to five years.
Jeffrey Nathanson, president of 10.10.10 -- an organization seeking to find answers to some of the state’s thorniest issues -- said Colorado needs to take the initiative to solve its health care problems.
Ironically, the Summit was held on the same day the U.S. House of Representatives approved a controversial new health care bill designed to replace the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as “Obamacare.”
“We don’t believe answers will come any time soon from Washington,” Nathanson said. “We are here today because we think our health care system can be more efficient.”
Nathanson said Colorado has gained a reputation as one of the most innovative states when it comes to health care, with 145 emerging startup companies working to enhance innovation in health care and that collectively raised $162 million in investment last year.
“I believe we’re at the top of the list when it comes to health innovation, but we need more adoption,” he said.
“If we are successful, we can make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation through the adoption of health innovation.”
Adams said Prime Health is focused on helping health care companies collaborate and better serve the needs of the health care community.
“Part of what we want to do is to make this (health care) data scalable and generate a roadmap for companies innovating in health care.
“We are here to improve health care in Colorado and have the strongest ecosystem in the United States. It’s about connecting problems to solutions.”
At the end of the Summit, breakout group leaders summarized their group’s action suggestions, which included improving access to mental and other health care, better coordination of care and getting patients more involved in their own health care.
“How can we incentivize the patient, how can we educate the patient and how can we engage the patient,” said Allyson Gottsman, a group facilitator and Colorado Health Extension System program manager at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.
“If we can’t bring the patient to the table, we can’t get anywhere.”
Nathanson said the input provided during the Summit will be shared with ehealth companies and state government agencies working to improve Colorado’s health care system.
“We’ll develop a working document and coordinate with the ehealth roadmap the state is also developing,” he said.
“Did we change health care today? Not yet, but we’re on our way.”
Sponsors of the Prime Health Innovation Summit included Aetna, DaVita, HarmonIQ Health Systems Corp., Kaiser Permanente, Quality Health Network, GTRI, Colorado BioScience Association, CORHIO, Denver South Economic Development Partnership, Startup Health and the Colorado Health Foundation.