Last Monday, May 2, the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy (Division) hosted its first in a series of three open forums to discuss the all-payer claims database (APCD). Thanks to the active participation of over 120 individuals representing a broad and diverse constituency, we were able to engage in a candid conversation about data uses for what will likely be the most ambitious and potentially robust health care claims dataset in the country.
The event was kicked off with a presentation by the Division (available on our website) which provided an overview of recent efforts to develop the database. We broke down the APCD project into four phases: planning, implementation, information production, and potential future enhancements. A detailed discussion of the information production phase yielded an energetic exchange of ideas, and it showed the complexities underlying our ambitious goals. The information production phase consists of three steps. First, the Division will use the APCD to fulfill its data analyses as required by law. Second, data will be shared with other state agencies for their legislatively mandated uses. Third, data will be released to external entities (researchers, employers, providers, payers, etc.) for uses that serve the public interest. We then discussed examples of potential uses in the public interest and the type of data files that might be available for release to external entities.
Since its inception more than a year ago, the APCD has been built methodically and transparently. We have engaged stakeholders at every step of the process, first when we proposed the APCD regulations, and then throughout the weeks and months that followed by convening daily technical assistance calls, posting updates on our website and blog, and having conversations with any party interested or simply concerned with how the APCD would affect or benefit their community. Over the ensuing months, we conducted employer forums and presented at various public events to keep our commitment to transparency and engagement.
Please join us for the next two forums. On Friday, May 13, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza 2nd floor, in Boston, we will be discussing data release, including the data application process and the composition of a data release committee. On Friday, May 20 (same time and location), we will discuss data governance.
To learn more about the APCD, please visit www.mass.gov/dhcfp/apcd.