- Associated Press - Thursday, August 20, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico is planning to create a database with detailed information about all types of medical claims in order to make choosing the right health care option less complicated for consumers.

The State Human Services Department is expected to award a contract next month for a consultant to help the agency plan the database, which will have information on payment claims from private insurance companies and public payers, such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Officials said the database will have information such as where prices are higher, what health plans have the best discounts and which parts of the state have more access to specialists, reported The Albuquerque Journal (https://bit.ly/1UUgoh9 ).

“An APCD (All Payer Claims Database) will transform the way health care is done in New Mexico. It will allow many different payers, health care practitioners, and researchers to take a look at how we handle health care in this state and allow us to make improvements to our delivery system to better care for our fellow New Mexicans,” said Human Services Department Spokesman Matt Kennicott.

New Mexico would become a part of a growing national trend by joining the company of several other states that have already created such databases.

The plan comes after the Legislature passed a law requiring the state Health Department to make hospital-specific cost and quality of care information accessible by 2017.

The law didn’t require that certain data be made public, including the claims amounts insurance companies pay to individual facilities and data from outpatient clinics and pharmacy services.

But the department is moving forward with the plan for a more comprehensive database, which it can do without legislative approval, Kennicott said.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, https://www.abqjournal.com


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