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A Note from Alliance Executive Director Nancy Giunto on the End of WA-APCD Contract Negotiations

On June 10th, we received a letter from the Washington State Health Care Authority terminating contract negotiations with the Washington Health Alliance to serve as the Lead Organization for WA-APCD (LO). We began negotiations on October 24, 2019. I believe this is a very unfortunate outcome for our state.

Throughout the negotiations, the Alliance was clear and consistent about our intentions to work for a single, blended database through robust legislative activity and a steadfast commitment to the principals the Alliance Board of Directors established in 2015. We aspired to create a well-run and efficient database, modeled after our current voluntary effort, that allowed broad access to data by qualified users, while at the same time permitting the Alliance to continue to fulfill its mission as a trusted neutral convener and significant analytic contributor to quality and price transparency to drive market change. In the end, it appears the state was not committed to the same level of private partnership that we sought.

We should all be proud of the fact that despite the tremendous time and energy we spent setting the foundation for and negotiating the LO contract, we accomplished a great deal using the voluntary APCD that we have run in a self-sustaining way with your strong support since 2007.

  • We added self-funded data submitters and enjoyed 100% retention from data submitters who have supported us for many years.
  • We solidified our national presence by illuminating price and quality transparency through public reporting and dozens of presentations, introducing Total Cost of Care reports, a Quality Composite Score (soon to include a pricing component), Inpatient Spending Trends in Washington state, and Variation in Pricing for Inpatient Treatments.
  • We have in-house data that will allow us to report on Social Determinants of Health very soon.
  • We are using our analytic prowess and convening strength to drive market change as best evidenced through our Low Back Pain Implementation Collaborative, where we now have 30 multi-stakeholder organizations that have agreed to a care pathway that supports evidence-based care for acute low back pain.

I want to take a moment to thank you for your remarkable support over many years on this effort. The Alliance leadership team and Board of Directors always felt your strength and commitment to do the right thing for our state while maintaining a strong and independent Alliance that we, and many others cherish, and have worked so hard to create and grow.

All the best,

Nancy

Published: June 30, 2022

About Washington Health Alliance

The Washington Health Alliance is a place where stakeholders work collaboratively to transform Washington state’s health care system for the better. The Alliance brings together organizations that share a commitment to drive change in our health care system by offering a forum for critical conversation and aligned efforts by stakeholders: purchasers, providers, health plans, consumers and other health care partners. The Alliance believes strongly in transparency and offers trusted and credible reporting of progress on measures of health care quality and value. The Alliance is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit with more than 185 member organizations. A cornerstone of the Alliance's work is the Community Checkup, a report to the public comparing the performance of medical groups, hospitals and health plans and offering a community-level view on important measures of health care quality (www.wacommunitycheckup.org).

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