AHRQ’s Health Care Innovations Exchange Focuses on Using Actionable Data To Improve Quality and Reduce Costs
The latest issue of AHRQ’s Health Care Innovations Exchange features three profiles about organizations that provided specific, actionable data to health plans and providers to support quality improvement efforts, leading to better care and lower costs. One featured profile describes how the Indiana Health Information Exchange provides health plans and Medicare-chartered accountable care organizations with daily alerts on members of their attributed populations who have visited an emergency department (ED) or were admitted to the hospital in the past 24 hours. Based on near real-time data, these notices (known as admission, discharge, and transfer alerts) allow the receiving organization to act on the information in a timely manner. In a pilot test, the program helped a managed health plan improve quality and lower costs by significantly reducing non-urgent ED visits, replacing them with lower cost primary care visits. The shift from ED to primary care visits that occurred during the pilot test saved the health plan an estimated $2 million to $4 million over the 6-month period. Other innovation profiles related to this topic are located on the Innovations Exchange Web site, which contains more than 825 searchable innovations and 1,550 quality tools.