A massive statewide database of health care claims years in the making is set to go public in 2014, allowing Wisconsin residents to do comparison shopping before they choose a doctor or schedule surgery.
The Wisconsin Health Information Organization database will operate as a complement to the health care exchanges set to open for enrollment in October under the Affordable Care Act.
It includes 250 million Medicaid and private health insurance claims for care provided to 3.7 million Wisconsin residents over the past several years.
Dr. John Toussaint is a former health care executive and the first organizer of the database. He says that it also has helped control health care costs in Wisconsin because doctors and hospital systems can see when they are charging more than their peers.