Minnesota Department of Health Selects the Maine Health Information Center to Build Statewide Claims Database

[Please Note — The Maine Health Information Center changed its name to Onpoint Health Data on October 1, 2009.]

Manchester, Maine — The Minnesota Department of Health has selected the Maine Health Information Center (MHIC) to develop a statewide comprehensive claims database, a key component of the state’s new healthcare reform initiative.

Under the two-year contract, the MHIC will facilitate development of data collection rules; design and build the claims database; collect, process, and validate the data; and extract data to inform comparisons of healthcare utilization, cost, and quality.

The MHIC also will work with health plans to ensure patient privacy, timely and secure data collection, and compliance with state rules.

The MHIC’s work will provide foundational data for Minnesota’s new healthcare reform plan, which is designed to bring greater transparency to the healthcare marketplace, informing consumers and purchasers about differences in cost and quality among healthcare providers.

The MHIC’s selection follows a highly competitive bidding process. Key to its win is the MHIC’s reputation as a reliable partner in providing similar services to four other states — Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

“The fact that the MHIC has experience in actually doing this work for other states came through loud and clear” in their proposal, says Katie Burns, director of Quality Measurement, Transparency, and Payment Reform Initiatives at the Minnesota Department of Health.

“Basically we were choosing to work with an entity that has the track record of doing the work that we need done,” explains Burns. “We have full confidence that the MHIC will successfully carry out this important work.”

The MHIC’s status as an independent, nonpartisan organization also was part of its appeal, adds Burns, noting that “the fact that the MHIC is a private, nonprofit organization lent credibility to their work.”

The Minnesota contract marks the MHIC’s continued expansion outside of New England — a process under way after more than 30 years as a front-runner in health data aggregation and analysis. “Minnesota’s decision solidifies our status as a leading organization nationally in building and managing all-payor, all-settings claims databases,” says MHIC president and CEO James Harrison. “We’re a trusted partner for our clients — independent, nonprofit, experienced, creative, client centered, and cost effective.”

Harrison credits his organization’s public/private partnership with the State of Maine, the Maine Health Data Processing Center, for enabling the MHIC to deliver a state-of-the-art solution in a costeffective manner to Minnesota and other states. “We have enhanced our data management systems and expertise through this collaboration in Maine, the first state in the country to develop a comprehensive claims database. As our system improves,” Harrison notes, “everyone benefits.”

For more information about Minnesota’s Health Reform Initiative, including specifics about the MHIC’s project, visit http://www.health.state.mn.us/healthreform/peer/index.html.

About the Maine Health Information Center
Founded in 1976, the Maine Health Information Center is an independent, nonprofit, health data organization focused on providing healthcare data services to a wide range of clients in Maine and other states. The MHIC assists organizations in data management, analysis, and reporting. The MHIC is recognized for supporting and promoting the use of high-quality healthcare data as the basis for decisions in healthcare policy and management while assuring the privacy and security of patient-specific data.