An Important New Acronym: APCD

APCD stands for all payer claims database, a central database with every inpatient, outpatient, pharmacy, and dental claim from health plans (insured and self-insured), Medicare, and Medicaid.

Under chapter 305, the 2008 health quality and cost law, DHCFP is authorized to establish an APCD, and today regulations were issued to do this. The hearing on the regulations will be May 17. Data from the APCD will be available to researchers and analysts, and will create a robust transparency of health care in Massachusetts.

In his blog post today, DHCFP Commissioner David Morales explained the unique value of putting all the data together:

For the first time in the state’s history, this all-payer claims database – or APCD – will offer like never-before, a broad understanding of health care costs and medical service utilization across institutions and populations.

Essentially, the APCD will serve as a clearinghouse for comprehensive quality and cost information that will help consumers, employers, insurers, and government have the necessary data to make prudent health care purchasing decisions; and in that way help to lower costs by encouraging them to use high-quality, more efficient providers.

An added benefit of an APCD is that it would help to lower administrative costs for both government and insurers because it could serve as the central point for all health care claims. Today, multiple agencies make routine requests of such data and drive up unnecessary administrative costs that in turn add to the cost of premiums.

Lastly, the APCD will serve as a valuable resource for researchers and other private sector organizations who seek to develop efficient, innovative ways of delivering health care in low-cost, integrated settings.

We’re very pleased that the Division is moving ahead with this critical project. We’re particularly looking forward to getting in-depth analysis of MassHealth utilization, allowing advocates and policymakers to spot access concerns improve the program. The APCD will also guide our state’s move to global payments and other payment systems.
-Brian Rosman

About HCFA

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4 Responses to An Important New Acronym: APCD

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  4. bruce says:

    As one concerned about the privacy of meedical data, I question why they need to collect people’s names with every claim. As long as they have an identifier, a person’s name should not be necessary and indeed poses major privacy issues.

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