The CPA’s programmatic efforts address disease prevention, early identification and increased adherence to preventive care and treatment guidelines. We enthusiastically support initiatives aimed at disease prevention across a person’s lifespan. These initiatives also focus on schools and healthy living for children, the physical/built environment and overall physical and mental wellbeing from the earliest stages of an individual’s life. All CPA initiatives are designed to link public and private health systems, leveraging their individual resources to expand access to cost-effective preventive services that impact population health.
CPA members work together to prioritize health issues and then task individual workgroups with identifying, resourcing and implementing evidence-based interventions. Workgroups are open to all partners, as well as subject matter experts from participating organizations. Workgroups also foster opportunities for sharing industry best practices and challenges, resulting in a greater understanding of the healthcare community and potential intersections for collaboration.
People who have diabetes are twice as likely to suffer from depression, prompting the American Diabetes Association to recommend psychological assessments as a routine part of diabetes management. Depression can have a detrimental effect on a patient’s engagement in their own care and their adherence to treatment protocols. A 2008 study in diabetes care analyzed 47 previous studies of people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and found that depression kept them from seeing their doctors, following a diet, and taking medication as directed, suggesting that depression treatment should be a crucial component of any treatment plan.
The CPA has formed a workgroup, which includes CPA members as well as clinicians and patients, dedicated to developing messages and interventions to increase awareness of the connection between depression and diabetes and encourage providers to screen their diabetic patients for depression.
The Immunization work group brought several commercial health plans together with local public health agencies (LPHAs) to provide additional points of access for immunizations for members as well as reimbursement for those immunizations to LPHAs. CPA partnered with the Colorado Department of Health and The Environment’s Project RIZO along with Anthem, Rocky Mountain Health Plan and Colorado Access to develop template contracts and billing mechanisms for vaccinations provided by the local public health agencies (LPHAs) to privately insured individuals.
The CPA pooled funds to conduct focus groups on the decline of breast cancer screening, specifically mammography. Two focus groups were conducted and a report was prepared and shared with all members of the CPA, and external partners.
Several health plans modified their approach to educating providers and women about mammogram screening as a result of CPA's focus groups. Health plans changed their communication material and launched internal initiatives to manage the key drivers identified.
The Colorado Foundation for Medical Care also distributed the results to physician practices and guided provider offices in how to use their EHRs (electronic health records) to promote and track mammography screening. Our medical directors who participated in this project describe it as a unique and instrumental learning process with tangible results applied within their organizations.
An estimated one in three U.S. adults is prediabetic, and many are unaware of their condition. Left untreated, two in three people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within six years. The development of type 2 diabetes is largely preventable with appropriate screening and early interventions including diabetes prevention programs that focus on weight loss and exercise.
The work of the CPA’s Obesity and Diabetes Prevention Work Group has furthered efforts within the health plan community to include diabates prevention programs as a covered preventive service, thereby increasing access to these programs to three million covered lives. Additionally, the work group is developing education and outreach strategies for health providers to increase prediabetes screening and connect patients with evidence based treatment programs in their community. This tool kit will be delivered to physicians via multiple channels (in person conferences, electronic media, and meetings).
The social, economic and environmental conditions in which we live play a critical role in determining our overall health and wellbeing. Since healthcare alone accounts for only 10 to 25 percent of the variance in an individual’s health over time, our focus must turn to addressing other variables including individual behaviors, social and economic factor and physical environment.
Efforts to improve health and healthcare while decreasing associated costs must be made within the context of the many social determinants of health. Naturally, this will require collaboration across multiple systems; no one can tackle this alone. There is strong evidence linking social service programs (i.e. housing, prenatal, food and nutrition support) to improved health outcomes and decreased healthcare costs. There is also evidence that formal partnerships between healthcare organizations and social services result in cost savings and better health. The Colorado Prevention Alliance (CPA) is uniquely poised to facilitate these collaborative efforts. The CPA is dedicated to improving systems of care in a way that is efficient, cost effective and responsive to the social, economic and environmental realities that people and communities face every day.
Please see the overview Collective Impact on SDH in Colorado.