Welcome to the first issue of The Vitals. We hope you enjoy catching up on news briefings from The Health Collaborative, which we plan to send out quarterly to our friends and supporters. We want to make sure you stay informed on our many initiatives to prioritize better health, better care, and lower overall cost of care for the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region and beyond. We hope this interactive periodical will help stimulate discussion in our region.
The theme for this first issue is transparency. Throughout the health care industry, there is a growing demand for greater transparency around both the cost and quality of health care. Health care providers all over the nation are responding to that demand with new and innovative approaches to data-sharing and patient care. In Greater Cincinnati, we’re leading several of those initiatives.
Access to information about the price and quality of health care services can help consumers make better decisions about their care. However, it can be difficult for consumers to get this information. As part of our public reporting and transparency work, YourHealthMatters.org allows patients to compare quality and patient experience ratings of local doctors and hospitals. It’s a uniquely neutral resource for objective, evidence-based information on diabetes care, cardiovascular health, and colon cancer screenings, and hypertension, as well as patient experience results and resources to help patients manage their care. Currently more than 600 area providers and 22 hospitals voluntarily provide their patient data to YourHealthMatters.org, and the site gets nearly 2,000 visits per month from patients, providers, and insurers.
Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC)
We are one of only seven regions in the U.S. selected to pilot a new way of paying for primary care – paying for keeping people well. The Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative (CPC) is in its final year of a four-year project targeting enhanced primary care support and payment reform. Currently, 75 primary care practices with over 300 physicians are using the new patient care model to treat the more than 220,000 patients seen by those doctors. The project looks at insurance data and clinical outcomes from those practices to determine if the new model is helping to keep patients in better control of their chronic diseases and out of the hospital. Just this week, we learned that in addition to the nine commercial insurance plans already providing data toward the initiative, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) will be looking to us to analyze fee-for-service Medicare data. The analysis will be used to help determine if changes to the way primary care offices engage with patients can improve patient outcomes while also lowering cost.
The Center for Healthcare Transparency
A big part of making clinical and claims data transparent is partnering with organizations that work on the cutting edge of innovation and technological advancement. The Health Collaborative is a member of the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI), and a partner with NRHI’s Center for Health Care Transparency (CHT). CHT is focused on increasing transparency on the relative cost and quality of health care services. The Health Collaborative recently conducted a CHT regional innovation pilot project. Check out the story in the news section describing how we gathered industry experts to talk about new methods for collecting and linking quality and cost data, and exploring the best strategies to present this value-based information in a meaningful way for consumers.
Driving Greater Transparency in Health Care
Success in our evolving industry ultimately comes down to demonstrating higher quality and better patient experience at a lower cost – the “Triple Aim” that’s thought of as the holy grail in health care. Everything we do here at The Health Collaborative is informed by the triple aim. We work with a vast number of diverse stakeholders to ensure that our region continues to innovate and lead the way in health care transformation. We always welcome your ideas when it comes to new ways of thinking about health and health care delivery, so don’t hesitate to reach out and share your story!