Alliance leverages voluntary APCD as a public resource for promoting transparency

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Alliance leverages voluntary APCD as a public resource for promoting transparency

Shining a light on unwarranted variation in health care drives our efforts on public reporting of health care performance. In the coming weeks, we will be publishing reports on variation. Different Regions, Different Care is a report that will highlight how geography has an impact on how frequently people get certain treatments and procedures. In other words, where you live matters when it comes to the health care you get.

With this report, we are also taking a closer look at opioid use in Washington, comparing prescribing rates by location, age and gender. What we have found is there is startling variation between different regions. We hope this report will aid public health and policy efforts to curb the epidemic of opioid abuse in our state.

This week, I will have the pleasure of participating in a National Physician Leadership Seminar on total cost of care and resource use with Dr. Dan Lessler, Chief Medical Officer for the Washington State Health Care Authority. We will be joined by dozens of other physician and collaborative leaders from around the country to discuss ways to engage physicians in the vital work of measuring total cost of care.

Last month, we released a report on the quality of health plans in Washington state based upon results from eValue8™, a tool from the National Business Coalition on Health. Knowing how health plans perform stimulates improved performance and enables purchasers and plans to work collaboratively to organize strategies and structure programs to improve value in our market. In this latest report, we show widespread differences among the performance of the six participating health plans on such issues as strategies to reduce waste, engage consumers and measure physician quality.

For the first time since we began conducting eValue8 surveys in 2008, a Washington-based health plan achieved the best overall score in the nation. Group Health Cooperative’s HMO product scored higher than all other health plans participating in eValue8 nationally during 2016. In addition, Cigna WA and Aetna WA each achieved best national performance in one of eValue8’s eight modules.

We also want to thank our purchaser members who participated in face-to-face discussion of eValue8 findings with each health plan to learn what they each need to do to align their strategies, maximize the value of the health care investment and ultimately, improve health and quality of care for residents of Washington state.

We announced last week that the Office of Financial Management (OFM) did not choose the Alliance to be the lead organization for the Washington All-Payer Claims Database. We’re disappointed the State chose to not build on the Alliance’s existing APCD infrastructure, expertise and stakeholder support.

We’ll continue to leverage the voluntary APCD as a public resource for promoting transparency. As the volume and quality of reports we are publishing this summer indicate, we are going strong. We will continue in our important role as convener as we strive to move data from information to action.

Our team continues to get ready to launch a new and improved Community Checkup website and Own Your Health campaign in the fall. Thank you to everyone who has provided invaluable feedback and input into these two projects.

I’m looking forward to sharing with our members the Alliance’s latest reports at our August 11th All-Alliance meeting. Thank you for your ongoing many messages of support of the Alliance.

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