Atrius Health recently received its registration from the state’s Health Policy Commission (HPC) as a “Registered Provider Organization” (RPO). RPO filing is among a number of state reporting requirements under the “payment reform” law – Chapter 224 of the Acts of 2012, An Act Improving the Quality of Health Care and Reducing Costs Through Increased Transparency, Efficiency and Innovation.
Chapter 224 required all provider organizations in the state to apply to the HPC as a RPO that involved the submission of a number of items including information on organizational and operational structure and governance as well as detailed physician rosters. Provider organizations will have to reapply for the RPO registration every two years.
We would like to especially recognize several HPC staff members, Kara Vidal, Senior Manager; Liz Reidy, Senior Policy Associate and Tom Hajj, Policy Associate, who worked tirelessly with providers throughout the state. They provided ongoing education, one-on-one meetings and conference calls, and worked collaboratively with providers as they completed the various submissions.
It is noteworthy to mention, that after the initial round of applications were received by the HPC, staff held an open “listening session” with provider organizations. While there was a general consensus that the registration program was an exceptional amount of work and a steep learning curve for many organizations with limited resources, there was equal recognition and appreciation by provider organizations for the staff at the HPC.
As the HPC reflects on feedback received by stakeholders affected by the RPO requirements, we would encourage the HPC to continue to weigh the importance of collecting data elements with the potential burden to provider organizations that are faced with significant new responsibilities under Chapter 224. We encourage administrative simplification that would minimize duplicate reporting to other state agencies.
We are confident that many of the suggestions offered to the HPC on ways to improve the next round of RPO submissions will be taken to heart, in fact, we are aware that many have already been implemented or will be. We, along with other stakeholders, do question how valuable the information submitted to the HPC will be. We also encourage the HPC to evaluate the usefulness of information in relation to the additional costs to healthcare providers to provide this information.