The article from HealthAffairs.org examines the reporting requirements of CMS, and discusses how states can take advantage of data collection to evaluate the outcomes of health reform. An excerpt from the discussion follows.
Beyond CMS’ reporting requirements, we anticipate that there will be a need and opportunities for states to collect and analyze data from a broad array of sources to evaluate the role of Marketplaces in achieving national and state policy goals as well as tactical and business oriented metrics that measure operational efficiency, customer service and effectiveness of outreach efforts. Thus, establishing a broad baseline dataset prior to or as close to the start of ACA implementation is critical in order to track the impact of these reforms. To do this, states should take this opportunity to leverage investments in new systems and data sources to better understand ACA implementation as well as their own state specific goals.
States should also take this opportunity to explore the development of an infrastructure to collect, integrate and analyze data from multiple sources (e.g., All Payers Claims Database, Health Information Exchange, etc.) to understand the impact of the ACA on insurance markets, access to care, and ultimately – the impact on population health. Similarly, it will be important for agencies involved with measuring the impacts of health reform to establish strong collaborative relationships across various state agencies, constituents of the health care market, and other stakeholder groups as part of this effort. Relevant data typically resides within various data sources in the state, and timely access to data will be important for measuring and tracking progress. In addition, this will encourage administrative efficiencies, rather than promoting redundancy in data reporting.
Finally, while national policy makers are seeking to standardize goals, measures, and data sources, it is important to keep in mind that different states will measure success differently – based on their market dynamics and population – with the overarching goal of using the tools offered by the ACA to best serve the health care needs of their citizens. (excerpted directly from the article)