Better primary care saves Colorado $20 million

An experiment to ensure that complex Medicaid patients have a regular doctor and care coordinators who can help them stay healthy has saved Colorado an estimated $20 million in its first year, according to a new report from Colorado’s Medicaid managers.“We’re very happy that it’s moving in the right direction,” said Laurel Karabatsos, director of health programs for the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF).So far, about 20 percent of Colorado’s more than 600,000 Medicaid clients are enrolled in the program called the Accountable Care Collaborative (ACC).

“Our goal over the next year is to enroll more and more of our population to make this our dominant program,” Karabatsos said. “We’ve been really focused on primary care and getting our patients into a primary home this first year. We hope to expand to behavioral health, social services and building a virtual network of specialists and ancillary providers. We anticipate more savings as we integrate.”

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