Alliance works with HCA to support Healthier Washington initiative

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Alliance works with HCA to support Healthier Washington initiative

Since its founding a decade ago, the Alliance has been dedicated to leading health system change. That’s why we are proud to partner with the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) on the Healthier Washington initiative. Healthier Washington is the state’s innovative effort to transform our health care system so that people experience better health during their lives, receive better care when they need it, and care is more affordable and accessible.

We’ve previously told you about our work with the HCA to lead implementation of the Washington State Common Measure Set for Health Care Quality and Cost, which will be hosted on the Alliance’s Community Checkup website. The starter set of more than 50 measures will enable a common way of tracking important elements of health and health care performance and will inform public and private health care purchasing.

Even as the Alliance is diligently preparing to publish the first Common Measure Set results later this year, work is already underway to expand the measure set. Earlier this month, a group of stakeholders met to begin a review of behavioral health measures to identify those that might be included in the 2016 Common Measure Set results.

Because the Common Measure Set is meant to encourage the move toward value-based purchasing, educating consumers and purchasers about the elements of health care value—quality, patient experience and cost—is important. To that end, the Alliance is working with the HCA to create a series of materials, including infographics, to highlight the importance of each component and how in combination they lead to high-value care. The materials, which center around a “savvy shopper” theme, are expected to be ready next month, in time for open enrollment.

The Common Measure Set is just one part of Healthier Washington. Another part is the Practice Transformation Support Hub, which will be overseen by the Washington State Department of Health. The Hub will convene a clearinghouse of resources for health care, mental health and substance use disorder providers that will support health transformation efforts in several areas, including integrating physical and behavioral health and improving population health by connecting providers to community resources. The State sought feedback about the Hub from the Alliance’s Quality Improvement Committee at its September meeting, which will help the State to develop a vision that aligns practice transformation initiatives, strategies and priorities.

We are in the early stages of the Healthier Washington initiative. We look forward to the continued expansion of the initiative as we work toward a shared goal of transforming our health care system and building healthier communities.

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