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Massachusetts Health Quality Partners Awarded Consulting Contract for State Quality and Cost Reporting Initiative
Date:6/2/2009

Combined Expertise to Support State Quality and Cost Council Public Reporting Mandate

BOSTON, June 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP), a local non-profit health care quality collaborative, has been awarded the contract to provide health care data analytic consulting services to the Massachusetts Health Care Quality and Cost Council (QCC). The core work of the contract has begun and includes developing a plan for the reporting of comparative health care quality and cost information on the QCC website, www.mass.gov/myhealthcareoptions, launched in December 2008.

As analytic consultant, MHQP will guide QCC and the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy in the selection, calculation, reporting, and presentation of clinical quality and cost measures on the QCC website. MHQP is working with Milliman, Inc., a global actuarial and consulting firm, for their expertise with cost measures. MHQP and Milliman will propose quality and cost measures which provide the most current, reliable, and useful information for consumers, including those endorsed by national agencies such as the National Quality Forum. MHQP will also explore measures regarding possible racial and ethnic disparities in receiving care.

"MHQP's expertise in collecting, aggregating and reporting on healthcare quality performance and our understanding of the Massachusetts health care market, coupled with Milliman's health care cost and actuarial experience, makes a very strong team," says Barbra Rabson, MHQP executive director. "We are very pleased to be sharing our expertise with the state's Health Care Quality and Cost Council."

Since the start of the contract in February, MHQP and Milliman have assessed the QCC website's content and submitted a report with recommendations for enhancing the usability of the quality and cost information currently online.

"Milliman is delighted to join with MHQP in this important project," said Andrew Naugle, a Milliman principal and healthcare management consultant. "We see this as a real opportunity for Massachusetts to demonstrate national leadership in the public display of important consumer healthcare information, while providing a valuable service to the citizens of Massachusetts," Naugle added.

MHQP and Milliman are now developing a plan for additional quality and cost metrics to be added over the next three years. This information will help aid consumers, as well as providers, employers and others, in making decisions around health care choices available to them.

"The members of the Health Care Quality and Cost Council are pleased to be working with Massachusetts Health Quality Partners and Milliman to promote transparency in the health care industry and provide consumers, providers and advocates with objective information about quality and cost," said Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. JudyAnn Bigby, who chairs the QCC.

Since 2005, MHQP has been aggregating and publicly reporting physician performance metrics on primary care physicians across Massachusetts. Currently, MHQP publicly reports on statewide comparative clinical quality data for 150 medical groups and patient experience results for over 400 primary care doctors' offices. Visitors to MHQP's public reporting website (www.mhqp.org) can compare medical groups or doctor's office by geographic region, and access resources about health care quality and how patients can work with their doctors to improve the quality of care they receive.

Known for both technical and business acumen, Milliman provides expert consultation on both the financing and delivery of healthcare. Milliman clients include most of the leading health insurers, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans, and managed care organizations, as well as providers, employers and plan sponsors, government policymakers, pharmaceutical companies and foundations.

About MHQP

Massachusetts Health Quality Partners is an independent, not-for-profit organization established in 1995 by a group of Massachusetts health care leaders who identified the importance of using objective, comparable quality measures as a way to drive improvement. Its membership reflects a broad-based coalition of physicians, hospitals, health plans, purchasers, consumers, government agencies and academics working together to promote improvement in the quality of health care services in Massachusetts. MHQP provides reliable information to help physicians improve the quality of care they provide their patients, and help consumers take an active role in making informed decisions about their health care. For more information, visit www.mhqp.org.

About Milliman

Milliman is among the world's largest independent actuarial and consulting firms. Founded in Seattle in 1947 as Milliman and Robertson, the company currently has 49 offices in key locations within the United States and worldwide. Milliman employs over 2,000 people, with a professional staff of more than 1,100 qualified consultants and actuaries, including specialists ranging from clinicians to economists. The firm has consulting practices in healthcare, employee benefits and pensions, property and casualty insurance, life insurance, and financial services. Milliman serves the full spectrum of business, financial, government, union, education, and non-profit organizations. For further information, visit www.milliman.com.


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SOURCE Massachusetts Health Quality Partners
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