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 two separate but related transparency initiatives.
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:
CHIA intends to update CompareCare on a regular basis, adding more extensive price data, new cost and quality metrics, and better decision support tools.
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 has partnered with the Massachusetts eHealth Institute to create the Health Care Payment Transparency Challenge. This initiative is an open call for innovative ways to use CHIA’s provider price data to drive transparency of healthcare costs in order to educate consumers and inform policy makers. Please see more details regarding the challenge. Additional details regarding CHIA’s ongoing strategy for this type of data can be found here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.