Maine is using health data systems such as the hospital discharge data set and the all-payer claims database, however, problems in the existing systems are going to require a new look at the state’s future health data infrastructure. The “Health Data Workgroup” studied the problem and presented their report on the goals of the 2010-2012 Maine State Health Plan to the Advisory Council on Health Systems Development and also to the Office of the State Coordinator for HIT.
As a result of problems in the systems, the workgroup is currently developing a “roadmap” to strengthen the capacity of Maine’s health data systems to support key functions integral to new healthcare financing and delivery arrangements.
Maine’s recent innovations in health systems delivery and financing initiatives include the state’s Patient Centered Medical Home Pilot operational in January 2010 in 26 primary care practices, developing ACO pilots, and implementing a managed care approach with the MaineCare Program.
In each of these initiatives clinicians, providers, and purchasers are depending on the availability of clinical and administrative claims data to manage both care and costs, since current health data systems have proven to be inadequate for the task. Also, there is not enough individual and population-level health status and behavior information available to inform ACOs.
As EHRs and HIE systems become standardized, the aggregation, integration, and reporting of linked clinical and administrative claims information will become possible. Maine is among the few states with good prospects to be able to use and link clinical and administrative data to support these systems.
Specific recommendations and next steps suggested by the Health Data Workgroup are to:
• Appoint a group of private and public stakeholders to develop a feasibility analysis and business plan for the development of a permanent data warehousing capability/system with a report due by December 30, 2011
• Appoint a Health Data Workgroup Subcommittee to evaluate the barriers and approaches to provider and patient identification and address the problems of data linkage. A report on the subcommittee’s work should be submitted by September 30, 2011.
• Convene a workgroup by June 30, 2011 to identify a set of core health population health data and measures to be used by providers, purchasers, the public health system, and others to monitor and improve the health of individuals, communities, and populations
• Develop a strategy for building Maine’s capacity to use data to provide quality improvement and information on how to manage costs
• Produce regular reports on how Maine’s health system is performing
Go to www.maine.gov/hit/documents/Health-Data-Workgroup-Report.doc to view the March 2011 report submitted to the Office of the State Coordinator for Health Information Technology.