Data Consortium Health Indicators Overview


The health and health care measures and indicators used to create this publicly-reported state dashboard of access, quality, cost, and public health measures were selected by the Health Data Consortium, a multi-stakeholder advisory committee of key government agencies, hospitals, physicians, insurers, purchasers, and consumers convened by the Division of Health Care Finance (DHCF).  With the broad mission of leveraging the state’s data – both the data managed directly by DHCF as well as other Kansas health data managed by partner organizations  – for health reform via data-driven policy,  the 90+ members of the Data Consortium and its four workgroups, representing over 22 health industry stakeholder organizations met 24 times over a 11-month period from December 2007 till October 2008 to formulate this set of indicators, which were approved by the DHCF Board in November, 2008.  More information on the Data Consortium may be found at



These indicators, compiled to fulfill one of the statutory responsibilities of the Division of Health Care Finance, namely to gather, analyze and distribute a wide range of health-related data about Kansas (KSA 75-7405), will be updated as more data becomes available and will eventually enable DHCF and state policymakers to evaluate the performance of existing programs, assess the overall health status of Kansas, identify important trends in health status, and make more informed health policy decisions that address the state’s most critical needs and track the impact of such decisions. 



The various indicators presented here are divided into four categories that are aligned with the DHCF Board’s vision principles: Access to Care; Health and Wellness; Quality and Efficiency; and Affordability and Sustainability and intended to span the spectrum of key dimensions of health and health care. These measures are presented as concise graphics and tables that show baseline and historical trends along with national benchmark information for comparison purposes.

Phased Development Strategy

The measures needed to build the health indicator dashboard have been divided into three tiers, based on their availability and level of validation currently available:

  • Tier 1:  Data that is already collected and computed routinely and is believed to have a high degree of integrity. These measures are currently publicly reported and deemed acceptable by industry standards. This tier was the primary focus for the Data Consortium in 2008.
  • Tier 2:  Data that is collected routinely as a part of a database but is not checked for integrity and is not publicly reported at this time. This type of data may require further analysis prior to public reporting. This will be a focus beginning in 2009.
  • Tier 3:  Data required for the measure is not routinely collected at the present time. These measures may or may not be available, or are not consistently available. This tier will be addressed beginning in 2009 or 2010.

This first release of the health indicator dashboard contains only Tier 1 measures, as described above.  Other Tiers, more detailed drill-downs (e.g. stratification by demographics), and peer benchmarks (e.g. other state comparisons) will be added in future versions as recommended by the Data Consortium based on user feedback.  This document has an interactive table of contents with hyperlinks for ease of access to the various measures.


Key Features of the Health Indicator


  • Stakeholder-driven collaborative effort championed by key health industry players
  • Minimally burdensome data monitoring (Tier I)
  • Phased approach (Overall ambitious vision with focus on low-hanging fruit first to create momentum and demand)
  • Comprehensive (Health and Health Care; multiple domains)
  • Synchronized with DHCF Vision Principles
  • Aligned with national standards (E.g. Healthy People 2010 used as default; Measures chosen from standard national datasets)
  • Attempt to include Kansas health reform proposals: e.g. Medical homes, Oral health, Tobacco cessation
  • Proactive strategy (Deeming: “If you continue to do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten”)
  • Based on the maxim “You cannot improve what you cannot measure” this comprehensive, concise, balanced presentation of health measures in an integrated, consistent format is intended to help elevate data to information, to knowledge, and ultimately to wisdom through a process of continuous improvement.


Dashboard Description and Usage Guidelines

The dashboard is comprised of a series of graphs and tables grouped into 4 major sections:  Access to Care, Quality and Efficiency, Affordability and Sustainability, and Health and Wellness.  The document has an interactive (hyperlinked) table of contents to allow quick navigation to a desired measure. 

Data for each measure is presented both in graphical and tabular time-series format with benchmark data wherever available.  This is intended to enable:

  • Historical Self-Comparison of Kansas data over time, i.e., Chronological Trends
  • Peer Comparison – Benchmarking with national or other state data to compare how Kansas fares in relation to the rest of the US or other selected states.  This first release includes mainly national benchmarks with some peer state benchmarks, but this feature will be enhanced based on Data Consortium input on appropriate states to benchmark against.

The source of data used to generate each measure is listed at the bottom of each graph, and Appendix A gives an overview of the data sources along with a hyperlink to the source Web page (if available in the public domain).