Oregon: Update on Implementing SB 440, health data and quality metrics

State of Reform recently listened in on the Oregon Health Policy Board’s (OHPB) December monthly meeting. A large part of the discussion was dedicated to the methodology of data collection in the implementation of Senate Bill 440. The update to the Board was presented by the Oregon Office of Health Analytics’ (OHA) Director Lori Coyner.

The OHA used the meeting as a chance to solicit live feedback from the OHPB on a number of topics; there was also an attempt to “take the temperature” of the group regarding their preferred level of involvement in developing the state health quality metrics plan.

As Coyner put it, “This is an opportunity for the board to shape direction and focus [of the plan].” To that end, Coyner had three main questions for the OHPB:

• In five years, what are the most important heath indicators or outcomes to improve?

• What would tell you that health system transformation has been successful?

• What areas of health and healthcare should be the focus for Oregon?

Signed into law in June of 2015, SB 440 mandates the development of a statewide strategic plan for the collection and use of healthcare data. It also establishes the Health Plan Quality Metrics Committee with members appointed by the Governor with the mission of developing quality measures for Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs) and plans offered by the Public Employees’ Benefit Board (PEBB) and Oregon Educators Benefit Board (OEBB).

The OHA has been coordinating with the PEBB, OEBB, and the Department of Consumer and Business Services in development of a strategic plan, which is scheduled to be submitted to the legislature by September 1, 2016.

There was lengthy discussion between OHPB board members and Coyner about the intricacies of data collection as well as the importance of accountability. “We collect a lot of data as a state,” said OHPB board member Felisa Hagins. “I would focus on how to use the data we already have, with more collaboration and more transparency, so people know where they stand.”

“Our number one priority,” said board member Joe Robertson, “is to get all of [state] healthcare under one umbrella, in order to do real healthcare transformation.” Board member Carlos Crespo spoke directly to the heart of the OHA’s questions about OHPB involvement when he said, “We should take an active role and be a liaison.”

Board member Brian Devore, whose term expires at the end of this year, had some words of caution regarding the lift of carrying out SB 440 and the potential for damaging relationships when rethinking Oregon’s current approach to healthcare monitoring

“If you want a statewide system, you have to figure out how to leverage relationships. An olive branch would be great,” said Devore. “You are also going to have to stab some cows,” he said, implying the changes he sees necessary for healthcare transformation in Oregon.