When I joined the KHC staff in 2015, I knew that I had joined a unique organization. Instead of working for an organization with one perspective, the KHC was a convener that worked with stakeholders representing dozens of perspectives. Even within the same organization type, we had competitors literally sitting at the same table, working together to advance the health status of our community.
I think that is my favorite part of the job. As Senior Director of Data Management and Innovation at the KHC, I get to work with all types of healthcare stakeholders. I’m never tied down to one silo. It’s fascinating, challenging, and can be really rewarding when you get a breakthrough in an industry when our best efforts often seem to make minimal difference.
A perfect example of the more challenging aspects of our work is healthcare affordability. As easy as it is to convene various stakeholders for something like increasing cancer screenings, some of the most challenging conversations that we have in our coalition center around healthcare affordability. KHC members of all stakeholder types agree that the goal is a high value, affordable system of health. But given competing incentives and perspectives, we often disagree on what will best get us to that point. To achieve this goal, we must have more honest – often more uncomfortable – conversations. The KHC will start hosting more honest and uncomfortable conversations at our December KHC Community Health Forum, Transparency in Hospital-based Healthcare.
Transparency and data have long been the foundation of what we do at the KHC. For nearly two decades, the KHC has led the way in healthcare quality measurement and transparency through its reporting and measure alignment activities, such as the KHC Consolidated Measurement Reports, Kentucky Core Healthcare Measures Set, and education on the RAND Hospital Price Transparency Studies. We recognize that to have more honest conversations, we have to be informed about how pricing really works in the marketplace.
In recent months, a variety of studies and tools with important information about healthcare quality, safety, cost, and pricing have been released, along with the Hospital Price Transparency and Transparency in Coverage CMS rules taking effect in 2021 and 2022, respectively. A large portion of care occurs in hospitals, and the amount of information on hospital cost, price, quality, and utilization has never been larger. But how do healthcare stakeholders put together the various pieces of information to advance hospital quality and value?
Tools such as the Sage Transparency dashboard, NASHP Hospital Cost Tool, and Turquoise Health have utilized data from the RAND Hospital Price Transparency Studies, CMS, hospital and health plan reported data, and other sources to provide a fuller picture of the components of hospital healthcare. Join us in person or virtually at the KHC Community Health Forum on December 6, as we bring in local and national experts to discuss these transparency efforts and how the data can be harnessed for actionable insights into the healthcare system.
The event will feature Gloria Sachdev, President, CEO, and Board Chair of the Employers’ Forum of Indiana, who launched national efforts such as the RAND Hospital Price Transparency Studies, advancing nationally the conversation about hospital pricing. A reaction panel of local experts including representatives from Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kentucky, Kentucky Hospital Association, and GE Appliances will share their perspectives on how we can work together to ensure high quality care at a fair cost. The event will close with some strategies considering fair pricings for hospital services, outlined by Michael Thompson, President and CEO of the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions.
I can guarantee that not all of these speakers and panelists will agree on the best path to a high value, affordable system of health. But that’s when the most valuable and effective conversations happen. Attend the Forum and add your voice to the conversation.
For more information on the Forum and to register, click here.