CIVHC releases CO APCD data in two ways: non-public custom releases, licensed by Change Agents working on specific projects to improve care for Coloradans, or public data releases on civhc.org designed to foster decision-making at all levels of the health care system.
Increasing access to transparent health care data for all Change Agents is foundational to the original legislative vision of the CO APCD, CIVHC’s mission, and Coloradans’ ability to make informed decisions that will have a lasting benefit to the state. Making public analyses and interactive tools available on civhc.org is one of the methods CIVHC employs to bring transparency to the health care marketplace.
A wide range of public reports are released every year covering health care costs, quality, access, utilization, and population-level information. An example of these kinds of resources is the Shop for Care tool. The Shop for Care tool helps patients identify where they can go to receive the highest quality of care at the lowest price for common procedures and services.
Public releases of CO APCD data are used widely in Colorado and nationwide, and in some cases, they are provided to help partners who do not have the resources for a non-public release of access information.
Public Data Release Process
Step 1– Determining the Data and Report Elements
CIVHC keeps a running list of potential population metrics for cost, utilization, and chronic disease. This list is based on feedback from collaborators, reports other APCDs are producing, topics of interest identified in the media, and research studies conducted nationally and locally. Each year, CIVHC consults with the CO APCD Advisory Committee to determine what new analyses to publish or what new measures to include in already existing reports. An internal team then investigates the feasibility of every analysis as well as the availability of appropriate data elements for public reports. Once it is determined feasible, a methodology is developed along with a draft of the data visualization in Tableau.
Step 2- Data Analysis and Quality Checks
After determining the methodology and data elements, an internal team conducts the analysis. CIVHC analysts run quality checks on the methodology, outputs, and draft Tableau report for internal review. For analyses with price and quality information on a named provider basis, CIVHC conducts a preview period with all facilities/providers via a secure online portal. The preview period is a minimum of 30 days before publication, during which time facilities/providers have the opportunity to review, validate and ask questions regarding their results. Facilities/providers can “hide” their information from public reports if data discrepancies identified cannot be resolved.
Step 3 – CO APCD Advisory Committee and Partner Review Period
CIVHC provides a preview of the report to the CO APCD Advisory Committee and other partners before release. Input from the Committee and collaborators is incorporated in the public report as appropriate. Review periods are generally at least two weeks in length.
Step 4 – Release and Promotion
Public release and promotion of a report can include a press release, social media posts, email blasts, blogs, newsletter articles, partner promotion, and website promotion. Additionally, infographics, webinars, fact sheets, and other supporting materials are developed and released to give more context to the data presented.
CIVHC established the Data Byte program, whereby analyses outside CIVHC’s regular public reporting roadmap are developed and made public to support the needs of policymakers, members of the press, and other organizations seeking to advance health and health care. These requests involve a small set of data elements, and CIVHC can complete the analysis within 20 hours. Most importantly, the analysis must further the Triple Aim and meet all HIPAA privacy standards. If the request meets these requirements, CIVHC will send the request to the CO APCD Advisory Committee for review. CIVHC will move forward with a Data Byte if the Committee raises no significant concerns. All Data Bytes are released publicly.