From Our CEO

The new year always brings the opportunity to both reflect and resolve.  Now that we are back from the hectic pace of the year-end activities, we here at the Colorado Health Institute are refocusing and renewing our efforts. We are looking in particular at how the work we will do in 2014 will advance the health policy dialogue and inform the debate.

Our work, moving ahead, will center on these three themes:

1.      Reform Implementation Efforts:  2014 will be a watershed year in understanding the successes and failures of the Affordable Care Act as it moves from a conceptual piece of legislation to an operationally complex implementation effort.  The Colorado Health Institute will track what’s working and what’s not in a variety of ways.  These insights will help inform policymakers and legislators about “real time” choices and modifications needed to successfully implement this law.

 2.      Local Decisions and Local Health:  Statewide analyses can often mask both successes and challenges within local communities.  For example, there may be enough primary care clinicians on an overall level.  But if you live in a community that is unable to recruit a clinician, then the statewide circumstance is a moot point. How are local communities responding to health care challenges?  How can communities best prioritize their work? That’s a critical question and one that we will be tackling this year.

3.      The Value Debate:  As we look to new initiatives in the state – integrating behavioral health into primary medical care, increasing consumer choices through the insurance marketplaces and more employers migrating toward defined contribution plans – the issue of value will emerge as a critical issue.  Value lies at the intersection of quality and cost.  Measuring it is a tough undertaking, and disseminating the concepts of value to consumers and patients even tougher. The Colorado Health Institute will tackle the concept of value in 2014.

Our research agenda covers these issues in a variety of ways.  We look forward to another great year in 2014. Let’s Go!

Michele Lueck is the president and CEO of CHI.