Engaged Patients Will Need Comparative Physician-Level Quality Data And Information About Their Out-Of-Pocket Costs

ArticleinHealth Affairs 32(2):328-37 · February 2013with8 Reads
Impact Factor: 4.97 · DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2012.1077 · Source: PubMed

    Abstract

    For patients to be engaged, they will need meaningful and comparable information about the quality and cost of health care. We conducted a literature review and key-informant interviews, reviewed selected online reporting tools, and found that quality and cost reporting fell into two categories. One emphasizes public reporting of information, supported by philanthropic or government institutions that aim to improve provider quality and efficiency. The other is characterized by proprietary websites that aim to provide personalized, integrated information on cost and quality to support consumers' decision making on providers and services. What consumers seem to want is quality data at the physician level and cost data that reflect their personal out-of-pocket exposure. These needs will be acute under the coverage expansions inherent in the Affordable Care Act. State and federal policy thus should support all-payer claims databases, standards for electronic health records to facilitate sharing of quality data, and a unified approach to presenting information that prioritizes consumers' needs.