Five AHRQ-Supported Studies Featured in March 2012 Health Affairs
Multistakeholder Regional Collaboratives Have Been Key Drivers of Public Reporting, But Now Face Challenges
Young G. Health Affairs 2012;31(3):578-84.
Gary J. Young, director of the Center for Health Policy and Healthcare Research at Northeastern University in Boston, found that multistakeholder regional collaboratives have led the way in producing public reports about health care providers' performance. Young conducted a study of eight Chartered Value Exchanges and stakeholders in Massachusetts, Oregon, California, Washington, Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Indiana. He found that they have built trust and cooperation among stakeholders, improving provider performance and enabling consumers to choose providers that best meet their needs. One example: in Minnesota, where a program has been reporting on appropriate use of asthma medications, physicians' compliance with guidelines has risen from 74 percent to more than 90 percent.
An Experiment Shows That a Well-Designed Report on Costs and Quality Can Help Consumers Choose High-Value Health Care
Hibbard J. Health Affairs 2012;31(3):560-8.
Judith H. Hibbard of the University of Oregon and colleagues performed an experiment to test ways consumers could be encouraged to choose providers who were “high value”—that is, they offered both high quality and lower costs. They studied how about 1,400 employees responded to different presentations of quality and costs for physicians and hospitals. They found that if consumers were given very clear information that signaled that a provider was high quality, fears that lower cost providers gave substandard care were overcome, and consumers were more likely to make high-value choices.
How Report Cards on Physicians, Physician Groups, and Hospitals Can Have Greater Impact on Consumer Choices
Sinaiko A. Health Affairs 2012;31(3):602-11.
Anna D. Sinaiko at Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues looked at why public “report cards” about health care providers have not had more impact on consumer choices. They interviewed experts attending a 2011 AHRQ Summit on Public Reporting for Consumers in Health Care and found widespread agreement that the reports were not sufficiently user friendly and have so far been disconnected from consumer decisions about providers.
A Five-Point Checklist To Help Performance Reports Incentivize Improvement and Effectively Guide Patients
Friedberg M. Health Affairs 2012;31(3):612-8.
The problems with current public reporting may be more than the way the information is communicated. Mark W. Friedberg and Cheryl L. Damberg of RAND Corporation offer a 5-point methodological checklist to guide those who want to improve their reporting methods. They believe that if the reports clearly explain how they address each checklist item, this increased transparency should improve care and help patients use them to find the best providers.
Analysis & Commentary: Advancing Public Reporting Through a New “Aggregator” To Standardize Data Collection on Providers' Cost and Quality
Luft H. Health Affairs 2012;31(3):619-26.
With changes in health care delivery ahead, consumers may demand more information about providers' quality. Standardized measures are going to be needed to help patients choose clinicians who provide the best care. To arrive at those measures, data will have to be collected from many sources. Harold S. Luft, director of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute in California, proposes the creation of a public-private data aggregator. This aggregator would receive data about care from patients and providers and would be funded through fees charged to commercial users, such as health plans. An independent and neutral partner, he says, will be able to help meet this expected demand.