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Picture Day. Love it or hate it, it was an integral part of every school year. If you were lucky, you chose your favorite outfit and made sure your smile sparkled. If your luck was at the other end of the spectrum, you forgot what day it was and were forever immortalized in your Spongebob pajamas.

Weeks later, the photo proof arrived and you got a chance to see what your photo looked like before it was shared publicly with family and friends. Thus allowing you to prepare the necessary explanations.

CIVHC’s process for releasing named facility cost and quality information from the Colorado All Payer Claims Database (CO APCD) is similar. We want facilities to feel comfortable with the data we plan to present, both in its content and how it is displayed alongside data from other facilities. To this end, prior to every release of CO APCD data on a named facility level, we hold a 30 day “Preview Period” where providers are given access to the data scheduled to be published and CIVHC staff are available to answer questions.

Mid-December kicks off the next Preview Period, where hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers will have the chance to login to a private webpage and explore interactive reports featuring their price and quality information for new procedures and imaging services going live in January. For the first time, CIVHC will present procedure cost data as an episode of care, which means that the dollar amount shown includes everything from “pre-op” through “post-op” for a given procedure at each facility. We’re also adding x-ray pricing to the imaging report and updating it with 2017 data.

So, what happens during the Preview Period?

With the official launch, CIVHC will send an email to all of the facilities who will have data on civhc.org, inviting them to explore and review their information. The emails will contain a link to a protected page with the interactive report, methodology, and FAQs – just like it will appear on the CIVHC site. Facilities will be able to filter the report to see how they compare to other facilities and to make sure their information is in alignment with their internal prices.

CIVHC will also hold two informational webinars showing facilities how the report works and answering any questions regarding how the information is calculated and what it includes. Additionally, throughout the 30 days, CIVHC analysts will be at the ready to answer any questions and concerns the facilities may have.

Our goal is always to provide the most credible and actionable data possible, so the information destined for the website undergoes rigorous quality checks and testing. The facilities are our partners in this process and we want them to understand their data and what it will look like to patients using the tool when it goes live. With each release we also hold “Pre-Preview Period” meetings with some of the larger hospital systems. This was particularly important with this preview because we are introducing new episodes of care prices inclusive of all care received, not just at the facility listed. We walked the systems through spreadsheets showing their pricing for the entire episode and explained what gets included in the prices displayed.

It may be impossible to express how excited CIVHC is about this new release of facility cost and quality information. We started developing the episodes of care about two years ago and have been looking forward to publishing the imaging information just as long. This release will be one of our biggest; a total of 40 procedures will be debuted or updated. The wait has been long, but worth it.

Photo credit: https://awkwardfamilyphotos.com/10-school-photos-that-went-awry/