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A Healthier You

State to release health care scorecard in coming months

01/10/2018

Meredith Newman – delawareonline.com

The state plans to release a website that will provide a snapshot of where Delaware stands in terms of certain health measures, including preventative care and screenings for diseases. 

The Delaware Health Care Commission has been developing the Common Scorecard since 2014. Funding for the initiative came from a $35 million Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation grant, which is intended for the state to find ways to improve the health of Delawareans while reducing costs.

While the scorecard was originally for physicians and providers, it’s now being viewed as a tool to measure quality of care and serve as a companion to the state’s health care cost benchmark. 

In the fall, the state began efforts to rein in health care costs. State officials want to create a benchmark rate, which essentially is a cap on the amount they want to spend each year. That amount would be expressed as a percentage of how much health care spending could grow in a year. 

 

The state would use that number as a guideline when making funding and payment decisions. 

Right now, health care costs currently consume 30 percent — or $1 billion — of the state’s budget and are on track to double in the next decade. 

Dr. Nancy Fan, chair of the healthcare commission, said when the state began developing the scorecard, officials were trying to help practices transition to value-based care, meaning they’re paid for their quality of care instead of fee-for-service. 

When practices see how they fall within certain health metrics, doctors can compare themselves to their peers and the state average as well as reduce unnecessary costs.

But it became difficult — and expensive — to make sure the data was “apples to apples,” Fan said. Practices were also still using insurance carriers’ scorecards. 

 

“With any innovation, unfortunately, you run into the reality of ‘Does this really work?'” she said. 

Now, the commission hopes to release this information in the form of a public website in the first quarter of 2018. The metrics will include prevention, chronic disease management, care coordination and follow up and utilization and cost of care.

The data, coming from the Delaware Health Information Network and the nonprofit National Committee for Quality Assurance, will be an aggregation and not reflect the entire state population, Fan said.

Right now, the healthcare commission is trying to decide the best way to present the information so it’s understandable to patients. The scorecard is currently living in a “policy wonk world,” Fan said.

Read the full article – delawareonline.com


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