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Yesterday’s Health Care Cabinet meeting wasn’t very enlightening. The SIM report on consumer outreach was pretty much as expected. Consultants reported on focus groups with HUSKY and uninsured consumers and described plans for an online survey. Not surprisingly, they found lots of complaints about challenges accessing health care, stigma and poor treatment. They did not report talking about payment models or systems change with consumer groups and it is not mentioned in their online survey. They are planning five new taskforces and the current payment group will continue meeting. There was no discussion of adding consumers or advocates to the groups.  They intend to have a draft SIM plan ready by Labor Day.
In other news, we have heard from advocates in other states about their SIM processes. Most have large, public, diverse stakeholder meetings that include consumers and advocates. Maryland’s SIM planningis amazing. They started Local Health Improvement Coalitions in 2011 with diverse membership – consumers, advocates, community organizations, schools, public health, legislators, plus all the CT SIM stakeholder groups – and are using their APCD, advanced analytics and performance monitoring to identify hot spots and other problems, uniting the entire health system to create local solutions. They intend to use the SIM grant to build on the local quality coalition capacity. Payment reform is a much smaller part of their plan; quality is clearly the priority.
Colorado also has an exciting SIM process. They have a strong APCD and are also using the data to target quality and access interventions.  They have a large, diverse, public stakeholder group, including advocates and consumers, that meets monthly. They have a strong stakeholder and public input process, including inviting written public comment on the final plan. They even hired a consumer organization to write the patient-centered care part of the plan.