VHCURES is Vermont’s All-Payer claims database (APCD). APCDs regularly collect medical and pharmacy claims data and eligibility data, from both private and public payers. These comprehensive, longitudinal, multi-payer datasets are now providing unprecedented research and policy opportunities for improving the health care delivery system. APCDs give states like Vermont an opportunity to answer questions such as:
- How much do we spend on health care?
- How much does Vermont spend on health care compared to other states and the nation?
- Do common procedures differ in price depending on the facility?
- How has the use of health care services changed over time?
- Do we have sufficient resources to meet our resident’s health care needs?
On July 1, 2013, the GMCB assumed responsibility for VHCURES, Vermont’s all-payer claims database. VHCURES data allows for population-based analyses of health care system performance. In 2014, the GMCB, with the input of stakeholders and analysts, continued to work on both improving the quality of the information contained in the database and on ensuring that there is appropriate access to the information by authorized users of the database. Also in 2014, the Board incorporated Medicare data into VHCURES, making it a true all-payer claims database containing medical and pharmacy claims and demographic information for 90 percent of commercially insured Vermonters and 100 percent of Medicaid and Medicare enrollees.
Through data use agreements, VHCURES data is being utilized by state agencies, state contractors and academic researchers to support analysis of health care access, spending, utilization, and quality. Examples include: the evaluation of the Blueprint for Health primary care medical home program, which relies heavily on metrics and reports generated from VHCURES; the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI)’s 2007-2011 Vermont Health Care Cost and Utilization Report, which compares national and Vermont health care trends for the privately insured; and The Dartmouth Atlas of Children’s Health Care in Northern New England, produced by The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, which examines small area variations in children’s health care. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has sponsored specialized training, through an epidemiologist assigned to the Vermont Department of Health, that concentrates on working with the claims data to support research on maternal child