Colorado Access to Care Index Makes a Splash

The Colorado Health Institute and the Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved (CCMU) will conduct a webinar this Thursday to discuss the Colorado Access to Care Index – a new tool to measure access to care.

The first Colorado Access to Care Index – a collaboration of CHI and CCMU – is designed to help communities learn whether residents of their community can gain access to affordable care, how that is changing over time and where to focus their efforts to improve access.

Using the latest data, the Index gives each of Colorado’s 21 health statistics regions a score based on its performance in three categories: potential access, barriers to care, and realized access.

Colorado’s overall state score, detailed below, is 7.7 of 10.

CO access

Following the launch of the Index on March 19 at the Safety Net Advisory Committee (SNAC) Lab, CHI has received a lot of feedback on how useful it will be.

Denise Denton, Executive Director of Aurora Health Access, sent us this update:

“Wow!  I discovered the Colorado Access to Care Index on Wednesday, and had already used it several times by Friday,” she said.

“One, I’m preparing a presentation for the Aurora Chamber of Commerce. The Index is a simple, visual way to describe the differences in the health environment between Adams and Arapahoe counties. Two, I sit on our hospital’s Community Health Needs Assessment planning committee.  I shared your index with the group as an example of how complex data CAN be shared in a simple, compelling way. And three, my colleagues at Community Campus Partnership were selected for round 2 of the Build Health grant. Their proposal is to create an index or matrix to track community health.  I told them I had a great example to share.”

The webinar is scheduled for Thursday April 2nd from noon to 1PM. You can register here.

Meanwhile, Director of Community Health Policy Sara Schmitt participated in a community health care forum with Representatives Jeni Arndt and Joann Ginal and Senator John Kefalas on Saturday. Sara joined other health care leaders, including Sue Birch, executive director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, to talk about health with residents of northern Colorado.

During her presentation, Sara discussed 1332 waivers, also known as innovation waivers, and their potential to impact Colorado. The presentation included content from a legislative learning series presentation on waivers from Senior Director of Policy and Analysis Amy Downs and Senior Analyst Tasia Sinn, which you can view here

Tamara is a Policy Analyst at CHI.