Transparency, innovation should be top priority for legislators in 2015

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Transparency, innovation should be top priority for legislators in 2015

Last week, I joined more than 500 health care and business leaders at the 2015 State of Reform Health Policy Conference. For almost 30 years, this event has been inspiring and shaping health care policy in our state. Occurring at the beginning of this year’s legislative session, it was the perfect place to discuss with policymakers what our state’s priorities should be. And this legislative session in particular is one that will have profound impact on the health of Washington state citizens.

A big focus of conversation was the state’s Health Care Innovation Plan and its implementation. With the federal government granting 65 million dollars to accelerate health care innovation, our state has an opportunity to make bold, system-wide changes—all with the potential to generate at least $1 billion in savings across all payers. In its role as convener, the Alliance was able to contribute to the Health Care Innovation Plan and we look forward to contributing to its implementation.

Alliance Deputy Director Susie Dade participated in a panel discussion about the critical need for both quality and price transparency, and the role transparency plays in moving us toward higher value care (read her blog post on the topic.) Even though we at the Alliance focus on transparency, by itself, it won’t effectively drive better performance and lower costs. But, it is a critical tool for identifying, understanding and ultimately reducing unwarranted variation in health care utilization and price. We can’t improve what we can’t measure.

There are significant efforts underway to improve transparency in our state. How we get transparency, however, is not universally agreed upon. We are working diligently with other stakeholders to develop a consensus solution to correct flaws in last year’s legislation to establish an All-Payer Claims Database that respects everyone’s needs.

And on a more personal note, this is the year the Alliance celebrates our 10th anniversary. The Alliance has been able to accomplish much due to the hard work and dedication of its members. For that reason, we’d love to hear from you. What are your stories and reminisces about the Alliance and the impact it’s had on you and your work? Tell us your stories in this short survey.

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