West Virginia Health Care Authority

Indicators Project

West Virginia Indicators Project

Since 2002, the West Virginia Indicators Project has been a major programmatic focus by both the West Virginia Health Care Authority and the West Virginia Institute for Health Policy Research as funded by the Benedum Foundation. The purpose of this project is to obtain and use population-based health data and analytical tools to provide relevant information about the health status, health risks, and use of available health care resources by West Virginians for the State’s health care policy-makers.

The project involves two phases: Phase 1 was completed in 2003 and Phase II will be completed in late 2004. Project databases include claims data from the State Public Employees Insurance Agency, State Medicaid, and State’s hospitals’ discharge data (UB92). The Project also uses a population profiling system to analyze the data.

During Phase I, hospital inpatient and ambulatory claims data were used to develop and analyze health care market areas and assess indicators of the health status and health risks of the populations served by these market areas. A Stakeholder Mapping Group was convened during May-September, 2003 to review the preliminary findings and offer recommendations for further analysis and presentation. This information was later shared with the West Virginia State Planning Grant Health Advisory Council. Also during this phase, an inventory of available health care resources, including facilities and services, was developed and preliminary work completed about physician workforce information.

Currently in Phase II, seven areas of health status or disease states that are widely prevalent among West Virginians are being examined. Focus areas are asthma, cancer, cardiovascular, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, obesity and smoking-related. The physician workforce, intermediate level and nursing workforce information will be added.

Later this year, Phase I and Phase II results will be combined and analyzed to identify and assess policy issues and identify priorities related to the allocation of health care resources. This information will become the basis of the next State Health Plan.

Improving our State’s health requires the attention and actions of both the public and private sector. The West Virginia Indicators Project is providing an important role in enabling the transfer of health care information into health care knowledge so that positive change can occur in reducing health risks and in improving the health status of our State’s residents. Information about the West Virginia Indicators Project is available in the WVHCA 2002 Annual Report. Two additional links, National Governor’s Association, and the West Virginia State Planning Grant, provide additional information about projects related to the West Virginia Indicators Project.

Additional information about this project will be available after July 1, 2004.

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