Accreditation firm URAC is inviting current health plan customers participating in public or private health insurance exchanges to test its new Star Data System that accepts performance data from insurers and converts it to consumer-friendly formats.

URAC and NCQA are federally deemed accreditors under the state health insurance exchange program authorized in the Affordable Care Act. Following feedback from insurers, URAC developed the Star Data System to offer an easy and low cost way to submit raw performance data via a Web portal to a database for organizing and calculating electronic measures, says Marybeth Farquhar, vice president of research and measurements.

Now, URAC has completed beta testing and wants to do “dry runs” starting in October. Participating payers will benefit from advanced preparation of data file extracts, an understanding of system processes and resource needs, access to URAC support staff and technical assistance, and giving input for further portal and database enhancements.

Participants in the dry run are expected to make an advanced payment of the Year 1 measures submission fee, and have sufficient resources to develop and format required data files as well as create and submit data extracts and assess system adequacy or problems, among other requirements.

In a subsequent phase, plans call for the Star Data System to including analytics capabilities to learn more about gaps in care, readmissions, risk adjustments, and the impact of behavioral health on a medical condition’s severity, cost and outcomes, among other factors.

Insurers wishing to participate can submit questions and the following information by Dec. 31 to StarDataSystem@urac.org: Organization name and address; name, phone and email of a contract person; lines of business and number of covered lives.

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