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CIVHC Receives Grant Renewal to Support Ongoing Participation in National Project to Reduce Health Care Costs

The Center for Improving Value in Health Care (CIVHC), a Colorado nonprofit organization, has been awarded a grant renewal to participate in Phase II of a national project designed to reduce health care costs and improve quality.

On July 9, 2015, the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI) announced the second phase of a project designed to leverage health care cost data to produce standardized measures of total cost of care and resource use at the physician practice level. The ultimate goal is to identify drivers and highlight specific opportunities to reduce costs and improve care both for physician practices as well as nationally. The initial 18-month pilot as well as Phase II, Evolving the Regional Total Cost of Care Project and Demonstrating Preparedness for National Scalability (TCoC Phase II), were made possible through funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The goal of the 18-month project is to evolve the Phase I reporting capabilities and show preparedness for national scalability by adding new regions and exploring options to include claims data for public payers (Medicare and Medicaid), and engage physician, employer and other stakeholders as leaders in ongoing efforts to reduce costs and improve quality.

The five original partnering organizations, all tapped to participate in Phase II are: Center for Improving Value in Health Care; Maine Health Management Coalition; Midwest Health Initiative; Minnesota Community Measurement; and Oregon Health Care Quality Corporation.

During Phase II, these organizations will continue to advance and fine-tune the cost reports as well as expand efforts that help physician providers identify opportunities for cost savings and quality improvement. The participating sites will work closely with physicians to provide tools and use cases that highlight specific cost containment opportunities in their practices. The TCoC Phase II teams, led by NRHI, will also develop strategies and actionable steps to educate and engage employers interested in reducing the costs of providing healthcare coverage for their employees.

Participation in the TCoC Phase II project allows CIVHC and the other partnering organizations to further develop their cost of care reports, use longitudinal data to evaluate trends over time, examine the impact of alternative risk adjustment and attribution methods, and continue working toward standardization of measures across regions.

According to Jonathan Mathieu, CIVHC Vice President for Research and Compliance, this project is important in that, “for the first time, Colorado physician groups can see how the costs of and resources used in treating their patients compare to state-wide averages. As one example, this information allows a PCP group to see whether surgical procedures, diagnostic testing, imaging, etc. are driving higher than average per patient spending – and do something about it.”

For more information about CIVHC’s work in Phase I of the TCoC project, click here for Dr. Mathieu's blog.

About CIVHC

CIVHC (civhc.org) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that helps Colorado identify ways to pay for, deliver and select high value health care. Through the pioneering Colorado All Payer Claims Database, we offer the state’s most comprehensive health care cost, quality and utilization claims data. We unlock information and provide tools and insights that guide meaningful action to improve health, enhance quality and lower cost. Bringing together a broad spectrum of organizations and individuals to design and drive collective change, CIVHC is devoted to a single cause: advancing an exceptional health care system for Colorado.

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