It’s an inescapable truth that, in healthcare, data matters. For health information technology innovators, data is the window inside a lifecycle of a service, product, or application that can be analyzed for improvement. For providers, data helps the accuracy of diagnoses and creates more effective treatment paths. Health plans benefit from data as well. For plans, data builds actionable information and insights, two important steps in the balance of managing risk for each plan and enhancing outcomes for each member.
Health plans need access to information sources that help build for the future. But this need goes beyond simply connecting to the traditional repositories that capture and store large amounts of information. To optimize our understanding of users, patients, and members, plans must have access to sources beyond claims data. Expanded data sets from non-traditional sources will benefit plans with the right tools to manage collection and analysis.
One such non-traditional, underutilized source is prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data. Since the adoption PDMPs, these electronic database systems have amassed a decade’s worth of information regarding prescribing and dispensing behaviors of controlled substances as well as information that can be used to develop baselines for analysis or to monitor trends. There is an industry-wide need to make PDMP data accessible, building towards the goal of creating outcomes-based healthcare.
Building upon current frameworks of data sharing and utilization, we identify the opportunities in which PDMP data can help health plans in the future.