Minnesota Hosts & Showcases APCD Innovations at NAHDO ’16

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March 2017 -- Last year’s annual meeting of the National Association of Health Data Organizations (NAHDO) took place at the Loews Hotel in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota – a building conveniently located next door to Target Center and Target Field (spectacular multi-purpose arenas) and within walking distance of many local landmarks.

The October conference brought together industry leaders spanning the federal, state, and private healthcare sectors, who gathered in the hotel’s fifth-floor Stone Arch Ballrooms. The event offered an opportunity to connect with colleagues and clients from around the country to explore some of the latest developments, pioneering solutions, and best practices for providing innovative data collection and reporting services in the communities they serve.

“NAHDO ’16” became a spotlight for conversations ranging from healthcare transparency and data partnerships to actionable claims-based data and reporting services. At the center of those discussions were many of Minnesota’s thought-leaders who showcased how the state’s claims-based data efforts have expanded and accelerated over the years.

Speakers included Nathan Moracco, Assistant Commissioner for Health Care at the Department of Human Services, who discussed the state Medicaid program’s data needs and uses; Stefan Gildemeister, State Health Economist and Director at the Health Economics Program, who reviewed the Department of Health’s uses of claims data; and Brenda Hoppe, Senior Epidemiologist at the Department of Health, who explored the temperature-related disease burden for the Twin Cities’ population using hospital discharge data.

Leslie Goldsmith, Manager of the state’s Health Care Data Service Center, also provided a presentation on the state’s new Public-Use Files (PUFs), which are built from the Minnesota All-Payer Claims Database (MN APCD). Goldsmith provided an overview of the files’ development, including the legislative requirements and direction, their current (and potentially future) use cases and features, as well as their accessibility and application process.

These files, available to the public free of charge and generated by Onpoint, enable members of the healthcare community – from researchers and health improvement leaders to providers and payers – to learn more about the types of healthcare services provided in Minnesota, including their outcomes and associated costs. The release of these summary files is the Minnesota Department of Health’s most recent legislative milestone in expanding the use of the MN APCD in a bid to foster insights regarding variations and disparities in healthcare use and quality and to support price transparency.

This first round of public data from the MN APCD offers insights into the health conditions, healthcare costs and services, and places of service for the Minnesota population summarized to the first three digits of the ZIP code, addressing small cell-size constraints and further protecting the identities of individual patients and providers. The files are intended to serve as a way for researchers and the public alike to join in exploring the ongoing value of the MN APCD through the development of new and innovative use cases and analyses.

To learn more about Goldsmith’s presentation and the MN APCD’s innovative public use files, click here.