Amid the proliferation of quality measures, reporting requirements and transparency efforts, purchasers often find it difficult to separate the signal from the noise when determining what hospital quality measures are important, how to interpret and use quality information in a meaningful way, and how to present useful and actionable information to consumers, according to a new Policy Analysis from the nonprofit, nonpartisan National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).
Written by researchers at Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC), the policy analysis provides an overview of the quality measure development process and types of available data and measurement; outlines ways hospital quality indicators might help shape contracting and benefit design decisions; and discusses ways purchasers can help make quality information more available, reliable and actionable.
“Gaps in hospital safety and quality have prompted public and private payers to push for greater accountability through clinical quality measurement and reporting initiatives, which have grown rapidly in the past two decades. With U.S. health care costs high and rising, purchasers increasingly are seeking to identify high-value hospitals that deliver good care at a reasonable price. Some payers are incorporating clinical quality measurement into health plan contracting and benefit designs to alter provider networks and patient cost sharing to guide patients toward higher-performing hospitals,” the analysis states.
The Policy Analysis—Hospital Quality Reporting: Separating the Signal from the Noise—is available here
and was written by Emily R. Carrier, M.D., M.S.C.I., an HSC senior researcher; and Dori A. Cross, an HSC health research assistant.