The Colorado Purchasing Alliance

An Overview of The Colorado Purchasing Alliance – A CBGH Affiliate
Purchaser-led, Market-Based Healthcare Reform

Background: In December, The Colorado Business Group on Health – a non-profit, employer-led coalition established in 1996 – incorporated “The Colorado Purchasing Alliance,” a Colorado not-for-profit organized for group purchasing and direct provider contracting under CRS 10-16-1001 effective January 1st, 2020.

Legislative Intent. The enabling legislation for The Colorado Purchasing Alliance, CRS 10-16-1001, recognizes that “Continued escalation of healthcare costs threatens the economic vitality of the state.” As such, its expressed purpose is to facilitate group purchasing by employers as a means of improving their purchasing power and contacting directly with physicians and hospitals in performance improvement.

What “Purchaser-Led, Market-Based Health-Care Reform” Means. Our tagline summarizes both what we intend to achieve through group purchasing and how we intend to achieve it. It has three components. Let’s begin, as Stephen Covey advised, with the “end” that we have in mind.

Goal/Approach of the Alliance. Consistent with the intent of the existing legislation, The Colorado Purchasing Alliance is aggregating purchasers with the goal of engaging willing providers in immediate and on-going improvement in the quality and affordability of healthcare for all Coloradans – including those covered by self-funded entities, fully-insured entities, and individuals who purchase care on the exchange.

Strategic Priorities and Population Health Focus. Short term, The Colorado Purchasing Alliance will address wide and apparently unwarranted pricing variations – particularly with regard to hospitals and pharmacy as a means of reducing inappropriate spending. The broader intent, however, is to create a sustainable model of care that can advance the nation-leading work that Colorado has done under the Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM) grant in terms of supporting clinical practice transformation.  In both regards, the intent is to work in support of the “Polis-Primavera Roadmap to Saving People Money on Healthcare” for improving clinical outcomes while improving the efficiency by which those outcomes are achieved.

Purchasers interested in discussing the employer purchasing collaborative should contact Robert Smith, Executive Director of CBGH at 303-922-0939 or Robert.Smith@CBGHealth.org