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Colorado APCD Data to Hit the National Transparency Scene

The latest long, fairly difficult to remember acronym to come into play for CIVHC and the Colorado All Payer Claims Database is “HRCMT”. While none of us have been waiting around to learn another health care acronym, the Healthcare Regional Cost Measurement and Transparency project has the promise to make a big impact nationally using data from the Colorado APCD and other similar databanks in other states.

CIVHC is one of five partners collaborating on a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded initiative to identify drivers of health care costs and develop strategies to engage physician groups in using this information to help reduce spending and improve care. The Colorado All Payer Claims Database (APCD) will be used to generate measures of total cost of care and resource use at the physician group level. This initiative differs from previous studies in that it will evaluate costs based on claims data from commercial payers where previous analyses have focused on the Medicare population.

Objectives of the study include:

  • Apply a common total cost of care and resource use measure set across the five partners,
  • Develop regional, statewide and national benchmarks to allow meaningful comparisons,
  • Report results to physician groups and engage them in using this information to help reduce health care costs and improve care.

The Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement is leading this effort and the five partners include CIVHC and similar organizations located in Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, and Oregon. The partners all have access to commercial claims data, including amounts paid for medical services, and are uniquely positioned to work with physicians and other stakeholders in their regions to generate actionable results. A key objective of this project is to engage physician leaders in developing strategies to use this information in ways that contribute to the triple aim goals of better health, better care and lower costs, both locally and nationally.

As part of this initiative, Dr. Jay Want, CIVHC Chief Medical Officer, will lead a national “Boot Camp” for physician leaders to help them understand how the results can be used to reduce costs while improving patient care. This 18-month project will conclude at a national summit to share results and other findings and discuss implications from the perspective of physicians and other stakeholders.

About the Author: Jonathan Mathieu is CIVHC's Director of Data and Research. Contact him at

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