Advancing Public Reporting Through A New 'Aggregator' To Standardize Data Collection On Providers' Cost And Quality

Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute, Palo Alto, California, USA.
Health Affairs (Impact Factor: 4.97). 03/2012; 31(3):619-26. DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2011.1162
Source: PubMed


Advocates for consumer-friendly public reporting on the performance of health care providers anticipate that, at some point, well-vetted and standardized measures will be widely available to help patients choose clinicians who provide the best care. However, achieving that goal would require assembling standardized data from many sources. Such an effort would raise concerns, including privacy considerations about having a single massive data repository; questions of how such an effort would be funded; and potential misuse of the data. This paper proposes creating a public-private data aggregator that would receive patient and provider data from payers that are deidentified in such a way as to remain useful for consumer-reporting and research purposes. The aggregator could be funded through fees charged to commercial users. Meanwhile, registered researchers putting their methods and findings in the public domain could access the data aggregator for free.

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    ABSTRACT: Public report cards with quality and cost information on physicians, physician groups, and hospital providers have proliferated in recent years. However, many of these report cards are difficult for consumers to interpret and have had little impact on the provider choices consumers are making. To gain a more focused understanding of why these reports cards have not been more successful and what improvements could be made, we interviewed experts and surveyed registrants at the March 2011 AHRQ National Summit on Public Reporting for Consumers in Health Care. We found broad agreement that public reporting has been disconnected from consumer decisions about providers because of weaknesses in report card content, design, and accessibility. Policy makers have an opportunity to change the landscape of public reporting by taking advantage of advances in measurement, data collection, and information technology to deliver a more consumer-centered report card. Overcoming the constraint of limited public funding, and achieving the acceptance of providers, is critical to realizing future success.
    Health Affairs 03/2012; 31(3):602-11. DOI:10.1377/hlthaff.2011.1197 · 4.97 Impact Factor

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