March 8, 2018

$1 million in grants to improve access to care in Colorado

DENVER ­— For Coloradans in need, gaining access to specialty care such as neurology, cardiology or dermatology can be challenging. Today, Kaiser Permanente Colorado provided $1 million in grants to four local nonprofit organizations to encourage collaboration and increase access to specialty care for the communities they serve.

Over a three-year-period, the grantees will use the funding to develop and pilot a connected system that allows organizations to coordinate with one another — exploring the possibilities of sharing patient information, using technology for easier care access and working to provide more access to specialty care for their patients. The organizations receiving these grants are:

“More and more community clinics are faced with the struggle between limited resources and meeting the unique health needs of their patients,” said Jandel Allen-Davis, MD, Kaiser Permanente Colorado vice president of government, external relations and research. “We’re proud to work alongside these four local organizations as we develop sustainable ways to increase access to specialty care.”

The Colorado organizations that make up the group, also known as a cohort, will meet regularly to develop a framework for testing and launching a convenient system that helps connect safety net clinics and their patients to specialty care services.

"Members of the Mile High Health Alliance are dedicated to transforming the health care system by working collaboratively to address big, complex challenges. Kaiser Permanente's innovative strategy to create an intentional learning cohort focused on the problem of access to specialty care aligns with the core purpose and priorities of our coalition,” said Dede de Percin, executive director of Mile High Health Alliance.

“We're excited and eager to share, learn and leverage capacities alongside other health care leaders to solve one of the most urgent and important challenges faced by communities within and beyond Denver."

The cohort will also include Kaiser Permanente Colorado which, in 2015, launched a safety net specialty care program allowing two hundred community primary care providers to electronically request specialty care advice for their patients.

“Our Kaiser Permanente safety net specialty care program has seen great success in just a few short years, but it isn’t the sole answer for providing better specialty access to the community,” said Chris Fellenz, MD, Kaiser Permanente Colorado family medicine physician and the program’s lead. “We are excited to participate in the specialty care cohort with these grantees so we can develop new ways to meet the growing and rapidly evolving needs of our communities across Colorado.”