Members of CIVHC’s Public Reporting team come from different backgrounds to ensure that releases of data from the Colorado All Payer Claims Database (CO APCD) are meaningful to a wide array of stakeholders. This month we’re taking a moment to learn about the team and see what challenges they face.

About the Team

The Public Reporting Team has decades of cumulative health care data and improvement experience, allowing them to bring special insights and perspectives to CIVHC publications. Their most unusual job experience adds that little extra something to their skills:

  • Maria de Jesus Diaz-Perez is CIVHC’s Director of Public Reporting and the skills she acquired as an Event Organizer helps keep everything on track.
  • Marketing Manager Rachel Linn brings the creativity she learned as a balloon artist to her role on the team.
  • Cari Frank’s experience with meeting customer needs while hosting in a Chinese restaurant informs her duties as VP Communication and Marketing.
  • Little did Health Care Data Analyst Chris Dalton know that his time at Dairy Queen would help him manage all of the moving parts of a Tableau report.

During their down time, the team enjoys a good movie and though it was difficult for them to choose their favorite films, they all managed to narrow it down.

  • Maria – The Lives of Others
  • Rachel – I love You, Man
  • Cari – Deadpool
  • Chris – The Avengers

The team is full of world travelers and some of their favorite vacations include far-flung locations.

  • Maria couldn’t choose one destination – she loves any new city with a lot of people.
  • All of the wonderful food in Italy held Rachel under its spell.
  • Cari’s tour of Southern Africa was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
  • Chris made many great memories during a trip to Washington, DC.

Not surprisingly, the team is well read, though they had a hard time deciding on one favorite book.

  • Maria – Tomorrow in the Battle, Think on Me by Javier Marías
  • Rachel – Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Cari – Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine
  • Chris – Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

This is a team that appreciates something sweet – as their favorite desserts indicate.

  • Maria is a fan of fruit pies.
  • Rachel loves cake, any cake.
  • Cari enjoys the drama of crème brulee.
  • Chris is a purist and goes for chocolate cake.

Challenges They Face

Using claims data to publicly provide meaningful analytics is not as easy as it sounds. The Public Reporting team turns their challenges into opportunities as they work to inform ways to improve the health care system.

  1. CIVHC is in a unique position because our audience is made up of anyone who interacts with the health care system. From consumers to providers to payers or policymakers, there is no one piece of information that can benefit each of them. Therefore, we try to make interactive reports and publications valuable to as many stakeholders as possible.
  2. It is not easy to understand how users will want to interact with reports and publications; much less, what might be the most actionable information. The team works with stakeholder partners to pinpoint the most valuable insights and data elements available in the CO APCD and the best ways to make them accessible.
  3. Not all payers and providers collect and submit data exactly the same and sometimes there are gaps in the completion of a claim like identifying which provider actually saw the patient. One of the biggest challenges facing the Public Reporting Team is making sure patients are attributed to the correct provider. As CIVHC moves towards publishing information on a practice-level, this challenge becomes more important to solve.
  4. There are many ways to display data and each tells its own story. CIVHC decided with input from facilities and consumers that Episodes of Care were the most valuable when preparing to publish cost and quality information for specific high cost, high volume procedures. However, the analytics required to produce episodes of care is incredibly difficult and took the team a very long time to get to the point where the data was ready to share publicly.
  5. With four members who also have other duties, the team is no less than amazing. Lack of resources is a challenge that the team continually overcomes to produce thoughtful and engaging content.

Team Successes

  1. In typical Public Reporting Team fashion, the first success they listed was that they work well together. They value the insight that other members bring and are justifiably proud of how they bring together their various backgrounds to form a cohesive unit.
  2. Not many states have a way to evaluate the cost and quality of scheduled procedures and the Shop for Care tool developed by the Public Reporting Team is consistently mentioned as one of the best available across the nation.
  3. CIVHC is the second state to publicly report Episode of Care measures and it has more procedures available than any other state.
  4. Analyses like the Free-Standing Emergency Room and the Total Cost of Care in Colorado have received national coverage; making CIVHC a go-to source of information.
  5. The work they are doing is improving lives. A stakeholder wrote us to let us know that he used publicly available CO APCD data to reduce costs for a procedure. He note said, “Good news. The hospital settled at the reasonable level of $2,226. Using data from Colorado All Payer Claims Database, I was able to make a case for a $14,000 reduction in the $16,385 bill. Thank you CIVHC, the information was invaluable in enabling me to achieve a fair outcome.”