Thursday, June 23, 2016

Utahns May Now Compare Doctor Offices for Treatment of Diabetes and Bronchitis: All Payer Claims Database set to change health care in Utah

(Salt Lake City, UT) – For the first time, officials at the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) have been able to compare outcomes for two quality measures and primary care clinics by name using the All Payer Claims Database or APCD. The results show high compliance overall among primary care clinics with the use of the Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test to help patients manage their diabetes. However, avoiding the use of antibiotics when treating adults for acute bronchitis, when this treatment was not called for, was low. Both results were consistent with national data.   

“What makes this analysis notable is that for the first time, people will be able to look up their doctor's office and see how they stack up against other doctor's offices for these two measures. The measures showed significant variation in the state, with some clinics doing very well on one or both measures while others have ample room for improvement,” said Norman Thurston, Director of the UDOH Office of Health Care Statistics. “We hope Utahns will use it to make better informed health care decisions.”

Data from the APCD showed (note: higher rates are better for both measures):
  • HbA1c testing rates are high across all clinics. No clinic with 10 or more patients had a compliance rate less than 70%.
  • 68 clinics had an HbA1c testing rate of 100%, with an average of 5.3 patients per clinic.
  • Avoidance of antibiotic treatment for adults with acute bronchitis (AAB) rates were generally low. The average AAB compliance rate for clinics with 10 or more patients was 37.9% but some clinics had compliance rates as low as 5.9%.
  • 21 clinics had AAB compliance rates of 100% with an average of 3.7 patients per clinic.
These measures were selected after extensive input from stakeholders. HbA1c testing was selected because it shows how well a patient’s diabetes is being controlled. The higher its use among primary care clinics, the better. Avoidance of antibiotic treatment for adults with acute bronchitis is important because bronchitis is almost always caused by a virus and antibiotics are not effective for treating it. Both standards of care for these measures are well known, but it is generally believed that there is room for improvement. The analysis included 232 clinics large enough to be reported by name and 139 clinics that were reported by geography only, due to their small size.

The Utah APCD is the fifth operating APCD in the nation and consists of medical and pharmacy claims, as well as information about member eligibility and providers for all private health insurance payers covering Utah residents. As of 2014, the APCD receives information on more than 80 million health care services provided annually to Utahns.

“The real power of the APCD comes from the ability to analyze care provided to patients across payers, providers, and time. The APCD has the granularity to compare costs and quality by geography, patient groups, providers, payers, and virtually any other classification that can be defined,” said Thurston. “It is an essential tool to improve quality, reduce costs, and promote cost transparency.”

The Utah State Legislature gave the UDOH statutory authority to collect and analyze all health care claims paid on behalf of Utahns into the APCD in 2008, with a goal to fill critical information gaps needed to make effective health policy decisions and empower health care purchasers with knowledge about cost and quality. This report is also required by state law.

To download a copy of the complete data analysis visit Information on the Utah APCD can be found at

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Media Contact:
Norman Thurston
Office of Health Care Statistics
(o) 801-538-7052 (m) 801-386-3541