Puget Sound Alliance Granted $3.4 Million to Continue Price and Cost Transparency Work

31 Oct 2013
The Puget Sound Health Alliance, leader of Aligning Forces for Quality in Washington State, will partner with the state on a $3.4 million, two-year federal grant to make health care pricing more transparent through the establishment of a statewide data center.
The Alliance will use a portion of the federal funding from the grant to establish the framework for implementing an all-payer claims database that builds upon the Alliance's existing capabilities.  The grant, which was awarded to the state, will also help provide data to the Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner for rate reviews.
The Puget Sound Alliance has been focusing on measuring hospital, medical group, and clinic performance; public reporting; and value in health care in a five-county area in western Washington.  This new project will be an extension of that work that will eventually include the entire state.  The complete database of health care utilization will give policymakers and the public a fuller picture of health care, including what kinds of care are the most in demand and the range of typical costs.
"The entire health system will benefit from this information and the transparency that will allow providers, employers, and consumers to understand the basis for pricing srvices," said Dorothy Teeter, director of the Washington State Health Care Authority, in a joint press release.
"The Alliance is honored to partner with the state on the data center," said Susie Dade, deputy director of the Alliance.  "Thanks to the $20 million that our members and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have invested in the Alliance since its founding in 2004, we are fortunate to have an infrastructure and a database that provide a solid starting point for building out the data center.  We're excited to take on the challenging work ahead of us."
The goal of the data center is for purchasers to be able to use the information to determine where they may see the best value in care, while consumers will be able to access meaningful price data before treatment.  The Alliance is leading the charge on health care value in Washington, with benefits for those who need care, provide care, and purchase care.  The claims database is an important contribution to the national dialogue on price and cost.