Statewide Medical Database

The availability, costs, and practices of medical care vary significantly across Virginia, so a legislative subcommittee is examining whether a database that aggregates statewide information could help improve the state’s health care delivery system.

Twelve states have all-payer claims databases, which gather medical, pharmacy, and dental claims from private and public payers, including insurers and Medicaid.  Delegate —and Doctor— John O’Bannon chairs the Health Care panel that’s exploring the idea.

“The whole goal of this is to begin to measure things across various systems, tests, or procedures across providers to see if we can get begin to get a handle on some of the things that are driving up the costs of care—but more importantly, to focus on the quality side to make care better,” says Dr. O’Bannon.

O’Bannon said the data could answer many questions, such as which diagnostic tests are used, outcomes of different treatments, which providers cost more, who uses emergency rooms, or how clinical guidelines are met.  He envisions that everyone, including communities and businesses, could use the data.  He says to protect privacy, names would not be collected.

–Anne Marie Morgan

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