Jo Porter, director of IHPP, participates in a panel discussion on the future of all-payer claims database
Forum focuses on future of all-payer claims database
By Josefa Velasquez
POLITICO New York
04/26/2017 05:50 PM EDT
ALBANY — More than a year after a U.S. Supreme Court decision thwarted the state’s efforts to track health care costs, government officials, vendors, researchers and health organizations gathered in Albany on Wednesday to discuss the all-payer claims database (APD) and what the future holds.
The state estimates that the APD will begin operations between the fall of this year and early 2018.
Guidelines governing what type of data should be collected and released were proposed last August at a meeting of the state's Public Health and Health Planning Council. In the months since, the regulations were posted for public comment, which are still being assessed and finalized.
The hope is that the regulations will be adopted by early summer, said Natalie Helbig, the deputy director of the state health department's Office of Quality and Patient Safety Division of Information and Statistics.
The health department is also proposing an APD advisory group, composed of agency officials and others in the health care field, to plan for how data would be shared, privacy protections and fiscal sustainability.
If it works, the database will create transparency in claims reporting and will allow health officials to analyze data and compare costs to see where certain illnesses or diseases are prevalent or if there are any trends around the state.
But efforts to collect such data may not be a complete picture. Last year, in a 6 to 2 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court said that the state of Vermont couldn’t compel self-insured employer health plans to submit claims data.
Liberty Mutual, a company that self-insures and is regulated under the federal Employee Retirement Income Securities Act, argued in the case that federal protection was needed, otherwise companies could be forced to comply with different sets of requirements for each state.
“There still remains some confusion,” said Jo Porter of the All-Payer Claims Database Council, a multi-state organization that helps state’s develop and all-payer database system.