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Colorado All Payer Claims Database Launching in November

The Colorado APCD website goes live November 1st, 2012, and will allow us for the first time to start evaluating the big drivers affecting health care cost and utilization in our state. To celebrate this important milestone, CIVHC is hosting a launch event at The Colorado Trust from 10-11:30am. Please join us and other health care leaders in the state as we share some of the early data and findings in the APCD and demonstrate how to use the interactive website to search the health data of interest to you.

In 2008, the bi-partisan Blue Ribbon Commission for Health Care Reform submitted their final report to the General Assembly that included a recommendation to create a statewide All Payer Claims Database (APCD). The Commission recognized that a prerequisite for Coloradans achieving the “Triple Aim” of better health, better quality and lower costs was easy access to transparent data on cost, quality and utilization. At CIVHC we call this the “Triple Aim + 1”.

In early 2010, work on the APCD began in earnest with passage of House Bill 10-1330 which was followed by an extensive stakeholder process for ensuring a robust and secure APCD. I’m proud to say that just over two years later, Colorado is launching an APCD that will, over time, provide unrivaled transparency to support the Triple Aim goals, all while protecting the privacy and security of the data.

For the initial launch, the APCD will contain three years of claims data from the largest commercial payers plus Medicaid, representing approximately two million unique covered lives. Over the next year and a half, additional payer claims, including Medicare, will be added to the database so that eventually health care claims information for over 90% of Coloradans covered by insurance will be included.

With the launch of the APCD, Colorado will get its first glimpse at a rich universe of aggregated data that will begin to inform us about the details and variations in costs, utilization and measures of quality. It will allow us to answer important questions like “How does total cost of care varies by county or zip code?”, “To what extent do common procedures differ in price depending on the facility?”, “Are people on Medicaid visiting the ER more than people with private insurance?”, among many others. The data will grow and become more robust and useful over time as will the range of questions it will answer. At all times, the privacy and security of the data will remain paramount.

The APCD will be a valuable tool for payers, providers, businesses and eventually consumers looking to make informed decisions regarding the cost and quality of health care. The Blue Ribbon Commission and many others here in Colorado recognize that a marketplace can’t function without transparent data and being able to gain easy access to measures of variation and value of health care will be an important tool in ensuring better care, better health and lowering costs.

I’ve recently presented to a national conference of hospital system executives and to Blue Cross/Blue Shield executives about CIVHC’s efforts with a particular focus on how the APCD fits into broader efforts to transform health care in Colorado. View my presentation here.

I look forward to celebrating with you at the launch in November. Click here for more event information and to register.

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