What They’re Watching: Scott Christman, OSHPD

Scott Christman is the Deputy Director and CIO of the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. He joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to discuss collecting meaningful health care data.

“At the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development here in California, we’re really focused a lot on health care cost transparency. Specifically, collecting data from not just hospitals, but now prescription drug manufacturers. And [we’re] planning on collecting more cost data — specifically claims and encounter data from health plans to really get a good look at, and understanding of, not just costs but also quality of health care.

Part of our mission really is to support informed decision-making — and this includes policy making. So, I think our role is really as an information broker. We’re trying to provide as much data and information through, you know, analytic product out to not just the policy makers across the street and the legislature, but also to the industry itself. So, we’ve been collecting hospital data for 40 years. Hospitals are the biggest user of that data. So again, we see ourselves as sort of an objective broker of information to drive either decisions by industry leaders or by policymakers here in Sacramento.

Stakeholder engagement is essential to the work because, you know, we don’t want to be in a situation where we’re investing public dollars to collect data for the sake of collecting data. It really needs to be driven by use cases, meaningful use cases, that again can help sort of shed light or provide transparency into issues around health care cost. And the support use cases, like cost containment, which the legislature is very interested in.”