Health care database bill approved

Lawmakers gave final approval Feb. 7 to a bill intended to promote transparency in the cost and quality of health care services in Nebraska.

LB76, introduced by Omaha Sen. Jeremy Nordquist, establishes a Health Care Data Base Advisory Committee tasked with making a series of recommendations to improve transparency in the state’s health care system.

Committee members will be appointed by the state Department of Insurance director and will include representatives of academia, the health care and insurance industries and consumer advocates.

The committee will make recommendations regarding creation and implementation of the Nebraska Health Care Data Base. The database will be used to:
• provide information to consumers and purchasers of health care;
• determine the capacity and distribution of existing health care resources;
• identify health care needs and inform health care policy;
• evaluate the effectiveness of intervention programs on improving patient outcomes;
• review costs among various treatment settings, providers and approaches; and
• improve the quality and affordability of patient health care and health care coverage.

The department director will report the advisory committee’s recommendations to the governor and the Legislature by Dec. 15, 2014.

LB76 passed 43-0 and takes effect immediately.

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