Premier Calls for Quality Data, Context With Release of Claims Data

August 21, 2014 in News

This week, the Premier — an alliance of 3,000 hospitals and 110,000 providers — sent a letter to the Senate Finance Committee recommending ways to improve data transparency, Health Data Management reports (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 8/20).

Background

The letter came in response to a June request from Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) seeking ideas “to enhance the availability and utility of health care data” while protecting patient privacy from 200 health care industry individuals and groups (iHealthBeat, 8/13).

Letter Details

In the letter, Premier cautioned lawmakers that the “broad release of provider payment data, without proper context, explanation and linkages to quality and other factors, can lead to incomplete and inaccurate conclusions by patients and other users.”

The letter also noted that “prices at the point of service should be made publicly available, rather than ‘input prices’” (Health Data Management, 8/20).

Further, Premier said that access to other health care data should be increased, including:

  • Behavioral health, medical and pharmacy information;
  • Clinical data taken from electronic health records when appropriate;
  • De-identified publicly-funded health care information; and
  • Fee-for-service claims data from the Department of Defense, Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans’ Administration (Miliard, Healthcare IT News, 8/20).

However, the group noted that health care data remains fragmented and suggested the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT could help reduce the issue “by requiring open [application programming interfaces] for data elements” in EHRs to be interoperable (Health Data Management, 8/20).

The letter also recommended that the government bolster initiatives like Blue Button+ that aim to “engage and empower individuals and their families as partners in their health through information technology” (Healthcare IT News, 8/20).

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