A report card on provider report cards: Current status of the health care transparency movement

Jon B. Christianson, Karen M. Volmar, Jeffrey Alexander, Dennis Patrick Scanlon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Public reporting of provider performance can assist consumers in their choice of providers and stimulate providers to improve quality. Reporting of quality measures is supported by advocates of health care reform across the political spectrum. OBJECTIVE: To assess the availability, credibility and applicability of existing public reports of hospital and physician quality, with comparisons across geographic areas. APPROACH: Information pertaining to 263 public reports in 21 geographic areas was collected through reviews of websites and telephone and in-person interviews, and used to construct indicators of public reporting status. Interview data collected in 14 of these areas were used to assess recent changes in reporting and their implications. PARTICIPANTS: Interviewees included staff of state and local associations, health plan representatives and leaders of local health care alliances. RESULTS: There were more reports of hospital performance (161) than of physician performance (103) in the study areas. More reports included measures derived from claims data (mean, 7.2 hospital reports and 3.3 physician reports per area) than from medical records data. Typically, reports on physician performance contained measures of chronic illness treatment constructed at the medical group level, with diabetes measures the most common (mean number per nonhealth plan report, 2.3). Patient experience measures were available in more hospital reports (mean number of reports, 1.2) than physician reports (mean, 0.7). Despite the availability of national hospital reports and reports sponsored by national health plans, from a consumer standpoint the status of public reporting depended greatly on where one lived and health plan membership. CONCLUSIONS: Current public reports, and especially reports of physician quality of care, have significant limitations from both consumer and provider perspectives. The present approach to reporting is being challenged by the development of new information sources for consumers, and consumer and provider demands for more current information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1235-1241
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Volume25
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2010

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Delivery of Health Care
Physicians
Health
Insurance Pools
Interviews
Health Care Reform
Quality of Health Care
Public Hospitals
Telephone
Medical Records
Chronic Disease
Therapeutics

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine

Cite this

Christianson, Jon B. ; Volmar, Karen M. ; Alexander, Jeffrey ; Scanlon, Dennis Patrick. / A report card on provider report cards : Current status of the health care transparency movement. In: Journal of general internal medicine. 2010 ; Vol. 25, No. 11. pp. 1235-1241.
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A report card on provider report cards : Current status of the health care transparency movement. / Christianson, Jon B.; Volmar, Karen M.; Alexander, Jeffrey; Scanlon, Dennis Patrick.

In: Journal of general internal medicine, Vol. 25, No. 11, 01.11.2010, p. 1235-1241.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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