health care

State innovation model plods ahead on health IT

Posted 7/29/13

PROVIDENCE – The Health Information, Technology & Measurement Workstream group plowed ahead at its meeting on July 24 to reach consensus on its efforts to create a plan to address the health IT infrastructure to support the transition to a value-based health care delivery and payment models.

One of the goals identified by the process is to develop a multi-use provider directory, with the activity recommended to endorse need for a statewide central provider directory. Discussion focused on the need to have better definitions of who was a “provider” and what was meant by a “group” practice, and the differences between what a health insurer may use for its provider directories.

What was not transparent, however, is that the Rhode Island Quality Institute is already under contract with the R.I. Department of Health to produce a similar provider directory as a deliverable.

Group member Jeffery E. Meyer, director of Information Services at Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, said after the meeting that he was unaware – and surprised to learn – that the creation of a provider directory was already under contract.

Kim Paull of the R.I. Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner, who facilitated the meeting, told Providence Business News after the meeting that she would make sure the group was informed about the Rhode Island Quality Institute contract deliverable to create a provider directory before the next meeting, scheduled for Aug. 7, so that the information would be transparent and the group would not appear to be a stalking horse.

Much of the discussion focused on who would warehouse and manage the future analytics information and in what ways it would become actionable. Dr. David Keller, the outgoing director of the R.I. Chronic Care Sustainability Initiative, suggested a collaborative framework, similar to the way that the CSI initiative was managed.

Caroline A. Grossman, a principal of Mirepoix, a Waltham, Mass.-based consulting firm, argued that more than data transparency and accessibility, it was important to create a framework where the data was actionable – as a floor, and not a ceiling. “It’s not just medical interactions that leads to better health outcomes,” she said. Grossman also noted that claims data that would be part of the All Payors Claims Database does not include information on those who are not insured.

Beyond the flow of data and information, one of the questions asked – but not answered – was how the money would flow. Raymond Lavoie, executive director of the Blackstoen Valley Community Health Center, asked what kinds of investment would be going to the actual deliverers of health care to support the new analytics framework, and not just to the overall statewide initiative. Paull responded by saying it was a good question.

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