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alliance-blog

Alliance partnerships advance health care value in Washington state

I am pleased to announce that the Alliance will continue to contract with the Washington State Health Care Authority in 2016 for work related to the CMS/CMMI State Innovation Model grant. Under this contract, the Alliance will project manage all of the work related to implementation of the Washington State Common Measure Set on Health Care Quality and Cost. We are enthusiastic about continuing this work in 2016 and building upon the excellent progress we made in 2015. We offer our very heartfelt thanks to Dorothy Teeter and her team at the Health Care Authority for having continued confidence in the Alliance and for being great partners.

I feel very fortunate to be leading the Alliance at this point in time. Washington state is considered a national leader in moving the health care market to value, and that is due to the hard work and innovative thinking of Alliance members. In time, we hope that the Washington All-Payer Claims Database will bring greater transparency to our health care market, increasing purchasers’ and consumers’ ability to have the information they need to choose high-value care. The State, through the Healthier Washington initiative, is leading the way toward value-based purchasing with the steps they took in January, 2016 to incorporate performance measures into contracts with health plans and provider organizations for a subset of its insured population in the Puget Sound Region.

Washington state is also considered a national leader in shared decision making, which has been linked to better patient experience, an important component of health care value. Examples of this leadership include the State Legislature’s decision to certify shared decision making tools, pilot projects from innovative organizations such as Group Health  and the State’s decision to tie their new Accountable Care Program contracts to participation in pilots for using shared decision making tools. Last week, more than 150 people from across the state gathered in Seattle to learn about shared decision making in workshops we helped organize, with the support of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Group Health Cooperative and the Health Care Authority. Our hope is that these train-the-trainer workshops will kick start a learning movement across the state, and will give provider organizations practical tools they can use to incorporate shared decision making into their practices.

We are also excited to be co-sponsoring with King County, the Health Care Authority, Washington Roundtable and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce a workshop on March 1 on value-based purchasing. Participants will learn about health care value – what it is and why it matters – and how King County and the State have taken early steps to reward value in their health care contracts.  I’ll also be focusing on some Alliance resources that may be useful to purchasers when designing value-based benefit plans.

I look forward to advancing the Alliance’s work as convener and thought leader as we focus in 2016 on improving value in Washington’s health care market. One of the Alliance’s key beliefs is that by collaborating, we can accomplish far more than any single entity can accomplish alone. Thank you for your ongoing support of the Alliance.

Published: February 11, 2016

About Nancy A. Giunto

Nancy A. Giunto is executive director of the Washington Health Alliance. Ms. Giunto served 14 years as executive director of Foster Pepper law firm in Seattle. She has had a long career in health care, with experience at National Institutes of Health in Washington D.C. and the American Hospital Association. She has held leadership positions at Intermountain Health Care and Providence Health & Services.

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