NJHA launches new analytics tool in effort to better monitor key issues

Cathleen Bennett, former state health commissioner, now leads the NJHA.

The New Jersey Hospital Association has launched a new analytics tool to help understand the state’s health economics and health challenges.

The new NJHA Center for Health Analytics, Research and Transformation will be led by Sean Hopkins, senior vice president, and Joe Carr, chief information officer.

The new center will produce white papers and analyses, as well as policy recommendations for Trenton and roundtable discussions.

The focus includes areas of health care that are under significant scrutiny or in need of more analysis and data, including mental health and substance use claims, looking at common but preventable health problems and hot spotting, which is identifying where the most expensive care and most frequent care needs come from in a community.

“The costs of chronic diseases are far too high, for both individuals and for the health care system,” Hopkins said. “But it doesn’t have to be that way.

“Our goal is to use data in a new way to educate providers of all types, as well as policy makers and opinion leaders, to facilitate communication and care coordination where there are opportunities for proactive change for improved chronic disease management.”

NJHA CEO and President Cathy Bennett said improving health care in the state is the ultimate goal.

“So many of the problems we see in health care today — racial and ethnic disparities, access to care barriers, variations in use of health care services, variables in access and funding of prevention and wellness — require a deeper dive into why,” she said.

“One of the ways we get closer to answering that question is to have solid data that shows us the root causes of these problems. We can then support design of solutions that address the foundation of the problem, rather than the symptoms.”