Total Cost of Care Pilot Expands to Focus on Barriers to Healthcare Cost Transparency

Four organizations will join NRHI’s groundbreaking Total Cost of Care project to enable better healthcare cost comparisons across providers and regions.

Portland, Maine – Made possible through funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI) recently announced the addition of four sites to its pioneering Total Cost of Care Phase II (TCoC) project. NRHI selected Washington Health AllianceThe Health Collaborative, The Center for Health Care Data Research at the University of Texas, School of Public Health, and Wisconsin Health Information Organization as “development sites” to focus on breaking down barriers to reporting total cost of healthcare in their communities.

During the first phase of the TCoC project, which started in 2013, five regional health improvement collaboratives, with leadership from NRHI, came together to report the cost of healthcare at the primary care practice level in their communities. Through this process the group developed a standard way to implement total cost of care reports to enable apples to apples comparisons from one physician to another and across states. The overall goal; to inform strategies to reduce the rising cost of healthcare.

Now, the additional development sites will join five original and two expansion sites chosen this past July to participate in the second phase of the project. While a number of organizations expressed interest in phase two participation, many faced barriers to meeting the project requirements. For example, some lacked access to the right data, others didn’t have enough staff capacity, a few didn’t have the right regional partner, and several didn’t have the right legal agreements in place. However, NRHI felt that assisting sites facing these very real world barriers was critical for understanding and addressing these challenges in the future.

“We all learn by doing,” said Ellen Gagnon, Senior Project and Operations Director at NRHI and lead on the TCoC project. “Our hope is to raise the level of readiness of more regions to enable total cost of care reporting. We believe supporting these regions to tackle those barriers in an effective way will support others in similar work and promote cost transparency to enable payment reform.”

As part of their participation in the project, Gagnon explained that these development sites will help inform and share lessons learned with others reporting TCoC down the line. To learn more about the role of these new sites in the TCoC project, read the Request for Proposal (RFP).

Tara Oakman, Senior Program Officer at RWJF, said her organization was supportive of the addition of new sites as an effective way to engage more regions and spread total cost of care reporting.  “We believe social change starts at the community level. To enable as many communities as possible to understand drivers of healthcare costs in their regions, we must learn how to address the barriers in their way.”

 

About NRHI:

The Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement is a national organization representing regional multi-stakeholder groups working towards achieving the Triple Aim of better health, better care, and reduced costs through continuous improvement. NRHI and all of its members are non-profit organizations, separate from state government, working directly with physicians, hospitals, health plans, and patients using data to improve healthcare. For more information, visit us on the web at www.nrhi.org.

 

About RWJF:

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve the health and health care of all Americans. We are striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.

 

For more information and to set up interviews contact:

Amy Landry, Communications Manager

Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement

Office: 207-805-1684

207-318-2817