The Colorado Health Institute (CHI) hosted a webinar from their “Eggheads” series on the Colorado Health IT Roadmap released in late November. The webinar brought together representatives from the Office of eHealth Innovation (OeHI) and CHI to discuss the three main goals of the roadmap: greater affordability for patients, expanded access to whole person care, and health equity through care coordination and data sharing.
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The panelists included Stephanie Pugliese, the state health IT coordinator and deputy director at OeHI, and Sara Schmitt, managing director of research, evaluation, and consulting at CHI.
The Colorado Health IT Roadmap detailed policy and technology implementation recommendations to outline the “vision for transforming Colorado’s current framework into a more integrated system that enables inclusion and equitable access to data and information,” according to a press release from Gov. Jared Polis.
Throughout the creation of this roadmap, Pugliese said OeHI strategically engaged stakeholders to identify current IT efforts in the state that aim to coordinate care. She said:
“One goal of this engagement process for the roadmap refresh was to hear about the work already underway to find areas of alignment and collaboration. OeHI is a small and mighty team, but we recognize that we can’t do it by ourselves, and we shouldn’t.”
OeHI engaged with the Behavioral Health Task Force, those working on the creation of the new Behavioral Health Administration, and many local provider partners to gauge how roadmap priorities can assist providers who are already doing work to create data infrastructures and coordinate care.
The recommendations in the roadmap included policy, funding, and service guidance. For the policy recommendations, Schmitt amplified the need to adopt data sharing agreements throughout provider groups to incentivize the coordination of whole-person care amongst different services.
The funding recommendations included additional allocations to community-based organizations (CBOs) and trusted community providers to allow them the staff and ability to implement digital solutions into their workflow. Schmitt also highlighted that many providers who need funding might not be eligible for federal subsidies—especially in rural areas—leaving them susceptible to solvency challenges.
In the services recommendations, OeHI is focused on implementing and workshopping provider indices, information consent management systems, and care coordination networks to more easily share data amongst providers. Schmitt said:
“The roadmap also calls for exploring what a scalable, data sharing platform might look like in the state. Think of it as a single entry point—or an ‘on-ramp’—where providers, agencies, and Coloradans could be able to access, share, and receive needed data.”
OeHI hopes to create benchmarks for these recommendation items to be achieved by 2024. The office will begin by working to define what those metrics and benchmarks for success might look like. Pugliese said:
“We are currently working to define what success looks like for each of these goals, and that is achievable in the next two years. From there, we will define metrics and milestones to measure progress for these goals.”