California Steps Up on Report Card, Health IT Projects
A unit of the Pacific Business Group on Health will compile information on physician performance from Medicare and three California health plans as part of a federal pilot project intended to help people make informed health care decisions, the Sacramento Business Journal reports. The program is one of six such projects with the federal government nationwide.
PBGH's California Cooperative Healthcare Reporting Initiative will include information from:
- Blue Cross of California;
- Blue Shield of California; and
Leaders from more than 30 employers have signed on to participate in the project (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/14). Additional employers are expected to sign on to participate at events this week in Los Angeles and San Diego.
Employers involved in the project will provide quality and price information about physicians, hospitals and other health care providers affiliated with the companies' health care plans (HHS release, 3/13).
The project will include information on about 25,000 physicians, making it the largest effort of its kind in the U.S.
HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt was in Mountain View on Tuesday to meet with participating businesses and highlight the importance of the project to President Bush's health care agenda (San Francisco Chronicle, 3/14).
Also on Tuesday, the California Regional Health Information Organization announced contracts with two firms to help it develop a statewide health IT infrastructure, the San Francisco Business Times reports. Molly Coye, a founding board member of CalRHIO and president of the Health Technology Center, said the information exchange will allow physicians and hospitals to share information on developments including:
- Emergency department visits;
- Laboratory test results; and
Development of the information exchange is estimated to cost about $300 million, although Coye said long-term costs of the project will run over that amount. She said CalRHIO hopes to be close to securing as much as $30 million in funding for the program by mid-May. Coye said discussions are under way with some potential backers.
MediCity and Perot Systems, the firms that won contracts with CalRHIO on Tuesday, will work with the organization to secure private funding to launch the project (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 3/13).
CalRHIO's release announcing the contracts with MediCity and Perot Systems is on the group's Web site. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to access the release. This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.