The ongoing campaign to obtain better information to compare hospitals and physicians may soon get a big boost.
Members of The Alliance Board and Health Policy Committee met with key lawmakers on Feb. 12 to share perspectives on health care topics likely to be discussed this session. And we got some great news!
Gov. Scott Walker has included $5 million in the proposed biennial budget to support the Wisconsin Health Information Organization (WHIO). WHIO is a health care data warehouse that includes data from most major public and private sector payers and health plans doing business in Wisconsin. It’s one of the largest and most comprehensive sources of this type of information in the country.
The Alliance helped found Wisconsin Health Information Organization (WHIO) and continues to contribute to its work. Through WHIO, we can gather a “critical mass” of health care data to measure the total cost and outcomes of entire episodes of care – not just what happens during a hospital stay, but what happens before and after as well. With enough data, we can also begin to measure the performance of individual clinicians, which is high on the wish list of Alliance members.
The Alliance met with the Governor’s office earlier this year to discuss support for WHIO and other priorities. Now we will work to ensure that WHIO funding remains in the budget throughout the legislative process.
Unearthing differences in health care cost and quality and making this information publicly available will help consumers and employers make informed choices. Equally important, it will help clinicians improve the care they deliver. It’s a win-win.