Transparency Initiatives


CHIA's Transparency Initiatives



The Price Transparency Design Challenge

New! The Price is Your Right Design Challenge

CHIA is currently collaborating with the Massachusetts eHealth Institute (MeHI), the Donaghue Foundation, the Harvard Medical School Department of Health Care Policy, and Freedman HealthCare on an open call for designing healthcare shopper tools to help patients make more informed healthcare decisions. The challenge, using actual data from both CHIA and the New Hampshire Insurance Department, is for entrants to propose an easy-to-use mobile application or website to enable consumers to find information on health cost variation, quality ratings, and provider proximity.

For more details regarding registration and rules for the challenge, please see https://priceisyourright.org.

The Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA) is an independent agency whose mission is to increase transparency in the Massachusetts health care system and ensure that policymakers and regulators have access to objective and reliable data.

CHIA believes transparency means giving people access to the information they need to make better decisions. A comprehensive approach to transparency means sharing data has value for all participants in the health care system, including patients, policymakers, insurers, providers, employers, and researchers, and also the consultants and digital health companies that use data to serve these stakeholders.

Accordingly, CHIA is pursuing several separate but related transparency initiatives.

 

Consumer Transparency Website (MassCompareCare.gov)

CompareCare provides Massachusetts health care consumers with the guidance and tools they need to become active partners in their health care decisions. Launched in spring 2018, CompareCare's provides Massachusetts health care consumers with access to:

  • A procedure pricing tool that uses claims data to show payer-specific provider payment data for 295 common health care services;

 

  • Basic quality information about different types of providers;

 

  • Support tools that help consumers as they work with their providers and insurers to make decisions about their care.

 

CHIA intends to update CompareCare on a regular basis, adding more extensive price data, new cost and quality metrics, and better decision support tools.

 

Bulk Release of Procedure Price Data

After careful consideration and many discussions with interested stakeholders, CHIA has concluded that releasing all of the data behind CompareCare’s procedure pricing tool as a single, public dataset furthers CHIA’s mandate to promote transparency in the Massachusetts healthcare system. This release occurred on July 20, 2018 and access to that data can be found here.

While CompareCare was developed as a transparency website primarily for individual consumers, CHIA believes procedure price information has value for all participants in the healthcare system, including patients, policymakers, insurers, providers, employers, and researchers, and also the consultants and digital health companies that use data to serve these stakeholders.

CHIA intends to show payer-specific prices in future data releases. This proposed approach recognizes there is value in proceeding deliberatively to let stakeholders use the data and provide feedback before initiating the wholesale release of payer-specific prices.

CHIA’s fundamental objective in releasing this data is to make more information available to all healthcare stakeholders to support a broader, more informed public dialogue around health care costs and transparency.

CHIA also believes these initiatives will need iterative improvements for a period of time before they reach full maturity. The agency is committed to working with all health care stakeholders to understand the value of this data, how it can be improved, and how CHIA should pursue its statutory mandate to increase the transparency of the Massachusetts health care system.

Please send any comments on CHIA's transparency initiatives to chia.transparency@state.ma.us.