Impact Assessment Demonstrates Health Savings

VITL is often asked about the value of the statewide health information exchange and whether it helps to reduce health care costs in Vermont. A recently completed study demonstrated that practices in Vermont with a higher clinical technology maturity level – indicated by connectivity to the VHIE and sharing of patient data – experienced lower annual per-capita expenditures for their patients when compared to other practices in Vermont.

A Clinical Technology Maturity Model is a way to create an aggregate score for a practice based on a number of factors. The Maturity Model created for this study assigned a maturity level to 116 Patient-Centered Medical Home practices in Vermont. There are 308,000 patients attributed to these practices. The factors influencing the clinical technology maturity level included the number of interfaces to or from the VHIE, participation in data quality improvement projects with VITL, use of the provider portal to the VHIE, and hours of direct collaboration with VITL eHealth specialists. This model, which scored each practice using a consistent set of criteria, enables comparative analysis to be done among practices.

Using health care claims data from 2015, a statistical analysis compared total per-capita expenditures for each practice based on its Clinical Technology Maturity Level. The results indicate that practices with a higher clinical technology maturity level represented an average $59 reduction in total expenditures per capita for each maturity level attained. The results of this analysis were presented to the Green Mountain Care Board on May 25, 2017.

While clinical technology maturity level is one important factor influencing per-capita expenditures, it cannot be completely isolated from other clinical practices that also influence expenditures. Nonetheless, VITL is pleased with the results of this study and believes it demonstrates the direct impact of the Vermont Health Information Exchange on health care expenditures in the state.

2015 Total Expenditures per Capita

* Analysis excludes costs associated with Special Medicaid Services (SMS)