Health care agencies look to APCDs for big data

Published: February 12, 2013

Big DataForecasts and SpendingHealth CareHealth ITInnovationPolicy and Legislation

In today’s world of big data, all-payer claims databases (APCDs) are a major stepping stone for the health care industry, providing innumerable benefits for those both on the delivery and consumer ends of health care. With the proliferation of health information technology (HIT) projects over the past few years, states continue to seek out IT solutions that enhance the quality and efficiency of health care delivery, and are increasingly studying APCD implementation as a method of doing so.
 
Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) is looking to expand its data collection to include all-payer claims data, which will enable the administration to “give consumers actual prices and quality for health care services across the continuum of health care services, not just hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers,” according to a request for information (RFI) released in November 2012. AHCA currently collects patient-level data from approximately 1,000 hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers, and reports health outcome and performance data for more than 150 selected medical conditions and procedures.
 
Within Texas’ Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), the Texas Institute of Health Care Quality and Efficiency (IHCQE) convened in 2012 to study the feasibility of implementing an APCD in Texas, as well as to formulate a state plan to improve the quality and efficiency of health care delivery. Based on the initial evaluation, the institution did not recommend an APCD with mandatory reporting requirements, stating “the board recommends that Texas first maximize the state’s capacity for integrated data collection and analytics to support the institute’s ability to make recommendations regarding improving the quality and cost-effectiveness of all-payer health care in Texas.” While the institute did not recommend APCD implementation, it acknowledged it may reconsider the idea in the future.
 
While states like Texas have temporarily put APCDs on the back burner while they continue to flush out plans for health information exchanges (HIE) and health insurance exchanges (HIX), it is likely they will revisit APCDs in the future, particularly as other states begin to see improvements in the quality of health care services provided through the use and analysis of data collected by APCDs. Deltek will continue to track APCD legislation and developments throughout the U.S. Updates on APCDs and other health IT projects in all 50 states are available in our Health Information Technology Vertical Profile Application, available here.
 
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