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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.

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We Have Money for You (Seriously)

In six years of college, I never heard the phrase, “we have a scholarship for you.” No, it didn’t take me six years to finish a college degree; that was my little brother, who ironically enough was actually offered a scholarship. In my six years between undergraduate and graduate school, the phrase “we have a bill for you” was the one I heard. Back then I never would have anticipated that one day I would help run a program to provide scholarship money to organizations in pursuit of improving health care.

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Change Agent Profile: American Physical Therapy Association - Colorado Chapter

APTA-logo.pngThe Colorado Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association is a nonprofit, professional organization with nearly 2500 members.
 

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Top 5 Things to Know About CIVHC's Research & Compliance Team

Top 5 Things to Know About the R & C Team

Top 5 Ways Compliance Impacts How Data from the CO APCD is Released

Top 5 Research Collaborations

 

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CO APCD Change Agent Profile: CDPHE Hypertension and Diabetes Medication Adherence

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is dedicated to protecting and improving the health and environment of the people of Colorado.

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Data. The Foundation of Improvement

During my first 30+ days it has been exciting to hear positive feedback from our various stakeholders regarding CIVHC, its staff and management team, and our future potential. Most see the value of the Colorado All Payer Claims Database (CO APCD) and the strong potential of claims data in informing and driving health care reform. In fact, at the national level we recently received a letter of commendation from Dr. Len Nichols, Director of the Center for Health Care Policy Research and Ethics at George Mason University, highlighting the value of the recent launch of consumer-focused price information and how the CO APCD differentiates health care price transparency in a way unlike any other APCD in the country. We consider ourselves stewards of this important resource for the state and it is our commitment to continue to make this valuable data and information more readily available and actionable.

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Risk Adjustment and Burden of Illness in Colorado: APCD Total Cost of Care Compared to Expected Reports

Part II: Understanding health care claims data available on www.cohealthdata.org

Last month, in the first installment in this series, I explained risk adjustment and burden of illness concepts in more or less plain English to give readers and my fellow health data policy wonks (there’s that word again!) a better sense of what these concepts mean in practice. In this second installment, I will demonstrate how these concepts apply to the Total Cost of Care Compared to Expected (C2E) reports available on www.cohealthdata.org.
 

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Why are Prices so High in Health Care?

Jay-Want-for-print.jpgFor many years we have been assuming that if Medicare costs were low in a particular region, like Grand Junction on our Western Slope, then commercial insurance costs were also likely to be relatively low.

 

 

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A Letter From CIVHC's New CEO: Ana English

I am excited to be a part of CIVHC and working again in Colorado! My first official day was August 4, 2014, and within a few days I was in awe of the number of health care improvement activities occurring in Colorado and all there is to learn. To get up to speed as quickly as possible, my calendar is already full of meetings with staff, key stakeholders and business leaders that play an essential role in the success of CIVHC. Of critical importance is hearing directly from you and understanding the important role you play in Colorado’s health care landscape and what support CIVHC might be able to provide you along your journey.

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Seeing the Whole Picture

Ana-English.gifAnyone who’s looked at an impressionist painting at close range knows that until you step back and look at the whole picture, it’s hard to know what you’re really looking at. The recent New York Times article, “The Experts Were Wrong About the Best Places for Better and Cheaper Health Care,” demonstrates this phenomenon perfectly.

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CIVHC Status - Data and Analytics Top 5s

We took a moment to chat with Dave, our VP of Analytics and Data Ops, to learn about his team, the coolest projects happening at CIVHC, and the new vendors

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Plaintalk Blog - How We Create and Price Non-Public Data Requests

Preparing CO APCD data for non-public, custom requests is a completely different process than getting it ready for public reporting. So, what info is included in a custom request and how does CIVHC pull it together and price it?

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Top 5 Things to Know about the Communications & Marketing Team

Top 5 Things to Know about the Communications & Marketing Team

Top 5 Favorite Projects/Publications

Top 5 Things to Watch for in the Next Year

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Plaintalk Blog Series

Plaintalk-Blog-Icon.jpgIntroduction to the series, and administrating the Colorado All Payer Claims Database (CO APCD).

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CO APCD Top Ten List 2013

As I look back on my first year with CIVHC as the Director of the Colorado All Payer Claims Database (APCD), and the first full year with an operational APCD, I think it is important to reflect on how this state resource has grown and how it’s being used across Colorado. I’m going to borrow from David Letterman’s “Top Ten List” approach to benchmark the progress of Colorado’s APCD and leave you with the APCD goals for 2014.

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Protecting Colorado Health Data While Making Costs Transparent

The news is riddled with stories of frustrations over the cost of health care and the lack of transparent information available to patients and employer purchasers. Look at the responses to the recent Time magazine article about bloated hospital costs, and the release of Medicare information about the wide variations in hospital pricing: consumers are aghast at high and wildly varying prices, especially in light of little information about quality.

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What Makes the Cut for Colorado APCD Public Reports?

The Colorado APCD currently contains approximately 86 million medical claims and about 100 million pharmacy claims submitted by commercial health insurance companies and Medicaid. These claims currently reflect health care utilization and spending for the period 2009 through 2012 and represent nearly 3.1 million unique Coloradans. I speak from personal experience when I say that this is a lot of claims data! Despite the vast amount of claims currently in the APCD, the public website www.cohealthdata.org doesn’t reflect all of the claims received or all health care services provided in Colorado.

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Consumers are More Than Ready

My two 79 year-old parents recently marveled at the ease at which they can see results from lab tests and x-rays from University Hospital’s patient portal at their own convenience before going to see their doctors for their follow-up visit. They were thrilled that their personal health information is available to them, right in front of them, just as their physician sees it. And shouldn’t they? This is their health information and it’s vital to help them engage and take care of themselves.

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We've Only Just Begun

2017 marks the 5th Anniversary of implementation of the CO APCD. We continue to look forward to increasing the use and availability of the data in years to come.

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CO APCD Change Agent Profile: Division of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy, University of Colorado Hospital Department of Surgery

UCHealth-Logo-(1).pngThe University of Colorado Hospital (UCHealth) is the only academic medical center focused on specialized care in Colorado. Providers practicing at UCHealth are Specialists and Surgeons, offering care to the residents of Colorado and several other neighboring states.

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CO APCD Change Agent Profile: National Bureau of Economic Research

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) was founded in 1920, and is the nation's leading nonprofit economic research organization.

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Having Data Isn't Enough: It’s About Using Data to Improve Performance

Earlier this week, Phil Kalin and I had the pleasure of attending Health Datapalooza IV in Washington D.C. The event is the brain child of Todd Park, the Chief Technology Officer of the United States (what an incredibly cool job title!). The conference brought together many of the brightest minds in the country who are working to solve the health care challenges we face today by releasing health care data, or as Todd Park put it, “Data Liberacion!”. Just four years ago, this event was a meeting of 46 people in a small conference room in DC. These visionaries understood how the release of health care data could change the way we deliver health care in this country and committed to expanding the availability and uses of health care data for public good. This year, the event had over 2000 attendees including IT experts, health care providers, government agencies and policy institutes.

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Plaintalk Blog: Why Did Colorado Want An APCD and What Are We Supposed to Do With It?

So, we’ve explained what an All Payer Claims Database is and all the exciting things that it can do; but, why on earth would Colorado what such a thing? How did the CO APCD come to be and what, exactly, is Colorado supposed to do with it?

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What’s all this about Risk Adjustment and Burden of Illness?

If you’ve spent time looking at health care cost, utilization and quality data (and who hasn’t!), you have no doubt come across the terms risk adjustment and burden of illness. Unless you are a down in the weeds health policy data wonk (that term is used here in the most affectionate way!), you may be utterly baffled as to what all of this means.

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CIVHC is Having a Baby — and You're Invited to Help Us Raise It

On July 31, the Colorado All Payer Claims Database website will launch the first phase of comparative price and quality information for hospitals in Colorado. While this phase will be modest—a baby step—it is nonetheless significant, marking the first time Coloradans will be able to see real pricing information across all commercial payers and Medicaid for hospital-based services.

To understand this better, let’s explore what our baby looks like now, and our plans for helping it grow.
 

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Plaintalk Blog - What is a Bundled Payment?

What are bundled payments, and how do they help providers reduce waste and deliver better care? Take a look at our interpretation.

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