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Accessing the Power of Colorado's All Payer Claims Database

A recent Denver Post article highlighted findings from a Dartmouth Institute study that found significant variation in the percent of Medicare patients undergoing costly invasive treatments versus non-invasive lower cost procedures for similar diagnoses. Those that received costly surgical and invasive procedures for the same diagnosis didn’t necessarily have the best health outcomes. In many cases, the evidence suggests that patients can realize better outcomes from less intensive treatments including rest, physical therapy and other alternatives. This study provides a great example of the type of analysis that is possible using Colorado’s All Payer Claims Database (APCD) and highlights just a few of many possible examples.

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Colorado’s Journey Towards Payment Reform

January is a time for stock-taking, for rear view mirror- and crystal ball-gazing. Often, that turns into a kind of “Look, Ma, no hands!” punditry that’s fun to write but doesn’t really advance the conversation.

So, having now set myself up for anyone to shoot down (my New Year’s gift to readers), I’d like to opine on something CIVHC learned over this last year and consider its implications for our work—and that of our partners—in the coming months.

In mid-2012, CIVHC surveyed the largest commercial insurers in Colorado to assess what proportion of expenditures in the commercial market are fee-for-service (FFS), and what proportion are not tied to volume (e.g., care coordination payments, bundled, global)...

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Crunch Time in Health Care

This time of year is sports fan’s heaven but unfortunately I seem to have been born without the “sports fan gene”. Family, friends and colleagues exchange sad, knowing glances at my pathetic mixed sports metaphors and attempts to engage in post-weekend sports banter.  Despite that, as I write this first health care blog of 2013, all I have are sports metaphors floating in my head.  I apologize ahead of time to all sports fans out there.

Having crossed into 2013, the trigger date of 2014 for implementing the biggest elements of the health care law seems imminent...

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When Doctors Get a Union Card

Saturday’s New York Times carried a front-page story about negotiations between administrators and the physicians’ union at the New York Health and Hospital Authority over a new pay-for-performance arrangement. Physicians’ raises will be tied to their performance on indicators such as patients’ assessments of physicians’ communication with them, how quickly ED patients are transferred to beds and how quickly patients are discharged, as well as quality metrics such as 30-day readmission rates for certain diagnoses.

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Colorado's HIEs and APCD: Two Important Data Sources for Triple Aim Advancement

Tracey CampbellColorado’s bipartisan Blue Ribbon Commission for Healthcare Reform and other national health care leaders recognize the power of data to support improving health care. The Colorado All Payer Claims Database (APCD) and statewide Health Information Exchanges (HIE) were both identified by the Commission in 2008 as critical sources of data to enhance efforts towards the Triple Aim of better health, better care and lower costs. Colorado’s APCD and HIEs both serve a distinct and essential purpose for health care transformation as outlined in a new issue brief CIVHC developed in partnership with Quality Health Network (QHN) and the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization (CORHIO).

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