Washington Health Alliance Recognized Nationally for Trust Work – State of Reform

Sydney Kurle | May 24, 2021

On Friday, the Washington Health Alliance (WHA) was recognized as a leader in working with healthcare organizations by the ABIM Foundation.

The Alliance Quality improvement committee (QIC) is one of the many organizations recognized by the ABIM Foundation in its new effort, Build trust, created to strengthen medical professionalism and improve patient care.

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Nancy Giunto, Executive Director of WHA, said:

“The Alliance is honored to receive this recognition from this highly respected foundation. Trust and collaboration are essential elements of the Alliance’s mission, and our efforts to improve the Washington healthcare system and the Alliance’s QIC play a vital role. “

The ABIM Foundation is best known for its Choosing Wisely program aimed at reducing unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures.

WHA stakes are reliable and credible reports on the quality of health care using its voluntary All Payer Claims database. The QIC, made up of approximately two dozen physicians and clinical leaders from large medical groups, integrated delivery systems, hospitals and health plans across the state, is deeply committed to the development of all reports, offering clinical and methodological advice.

Since the first Community Checkup report published in 2008, the QIC has played a major role in the selection of measures, how patients are assigned to providers, statistical reliability and reporting thresholds. Current QIC Chairman Dan Kent, Chief Medical Officer of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan, said:

“We are fortunate in Washington State to have these kinds of reports and QIC is pleased to be recognized for our role in leading these efforts on behalf of the Alliance. The Alliance’s commitment to carefully manage data from multiple vendors, with full patient confidentiality, has created trust between vendors and report users. Users appreciate the ability to see variations between providers and communities, across numerous measures of quality of care, with analytics for Medicaid and for people with commercial health care coverage. “

An example of the role of trust and QIC is the first, Do No Harm Report published in October 2019, using the Milliman MedInsight Health Waste Calculator ™ (Calculator) to review the use of 47 tests, procedures and treatments commonly recognized as overused by the Choosing Wisely campaign and the medical community.

In its analysis, the WHA found that of the more than nine million services reviewed for both commercial and Medicaid policyholders in Washington state, 51% were deemed to be of low value, meaning they were either waste, which is probably waste. This resulted in an average of 846,973 people receiving at least one low-value service each year (equivalent to about 11% of the state’s total population), at an estimated total cost of $ 703 million.

This data resulted in the country’s first report on waste at the medical group level using the calculator.

The QIC recently created a new, simplified method for classifying medical groups and clinics, using 29 measures considered to be strong indicators of primary care to produce a weighted score. In March 2021, the WHA released the medical group and clinic level results for the composite quality score, providing detailed details on each measure.

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