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Budget committee OKs more funds for state health information organization

The state Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance (JCF) on Wednesday voted to provide an additional $5 million over the two-year budget beginning July 1 to further the reporting and analysis of health care cost and quality data using de-identified health insurance claims. The state currently contracts with the Wisconsin Health Information Organization (WHIO) to collect health insurance claims data, and the entity is expected to receive the additional funds to expand its work.

The funds would be used to create a web portal for consumers to access health care cost and quality data, conduct consumer information campaigns and develop a system for physicians and other health care professionals to review their cost and quality data prior to publication.

WHIO is a not-for-profit collaboration of health care providers, insurance companies, employers and public entities created in 2005 to develop a statewide database of health insurance claims. WHIO’s goal is to use health care data to improve the quality, affordability, safety and efficiency of health care in the state. The WHIO database currently has more than 249 million claims of care provided for 3.7 million Wisconsin residents.

As one of the founding members of WHIO, the Wisconsin Medical Society continues to have a seat on WHIO’s Board of Directors and works to ensure that physicians’ voices and interests are represented. The Society utilizes the WHIO database of health insurance claims to assess differences in health care quality and utilization, and to assist physicians and health systems in understanding how to use the data for their strategic objectives.

In its most recent Enhancing Value report, the Society utilized WHIO data for evaluating patient-centered medical homes. To view this and other reports, click here.

Back to May 30, 2013 Medigram