Why Can’t MA Do This?
May 16, 2012 in Member Stories
Our state has a split healthcare personality. Massachusetts wants to be a leader in health care but is widely regarded as an outlier when it comes to health care policy. Our care and cost structure is unusually consolidated into three major payers and a small number of providers. Our state policies reflect this consolidation.
The situation is evident when it comes to price transparency. All Payor Claims Databases (APCD) are state-level registries designed to inform health care and health insurance policy. This story about the Colorado APCD has a very prominent patient access bent. Where is the patient engagement message for the MA APCD?
In an move to update HIPAA, federal regulators recently issued a Request for Information on governance and privacy for health records aggregators such as APCDs. Although the jargon is thick, the opportunity is clear. With current HIPAA, the feds set a fairly low privacy and patient access bar and waited for states to raise it as they see fit. The result, in Massachusetts and many other states, has been APCD and Health Information Exchange projects inaccessible to patients.
Leadership in health care is no longer just about doctors and hospitals. As family healthcare costs top $20,000, it’s time for us to demand transparency and patient engagement from both our public and private institutions.