Latest HCI3 Report Card Finds Scarcity of Physician Quality Information for Consumers Continues

New methodology to measure physician quality and help states get As released

Nov 18, 2015, 08:24 ET from Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute

NEWTOWN, Conn., Nov. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While national attention has focused on health care price transparency for consumers, there's been less of a spotlight by state leaders on physician quality, according to the latest scorecard from the non-profit Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute (HCI3). For the third year in a row, the State Report Card on Transparency of Physician Quality Information found that most states receive a failing grade for providing information to consumers on the quality of physician care.

California joined Minnesota and Washington this year in earning an A; Maine is the only state to receive a B; Massachusetts, Oregon and Wisconsin received Cs; and Missouri, New Mexico and Ohio received a D. All remaining states and the District of Columbia got a failing grade.

"While there is some progress, all of the states with a failing grade last year received the same this year," said Francois de Brantes, HCI3 Executive Director. "That means the vast majority of Americans simply don't have access to local information on the quality of physician care. There is, however, the potential for significant progress in the next year and we're doing our part to make it happen."

HCI3 graded the states using scoring criteria that included the percentage of physicians and supporting health care professionals with publicly available quality information; the type of measurement provided (i.e. outcomes, process, patient experience); and the accessibility of the information to consumers.

Similar to previous reports, HCI3 leveraged the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's national directory for comparing health care quality. The directory lists public web-based resources and programs available in each state and is designed to help patients find information on the cost and quality of health care provided in their communities. The full HCI3 report and corresponding map infographic can be accessed here.

Making progress nationally
Nationally, ProPublica and Consumers' Checkbook have contributed to physician quality transparency. Both of these organizations have recently published ratings of surgeons on several routine procedures. That's important to consumers, and if these ratings were integrated in the state and community-wide efforts reviewed in the HCI3 Report Card, the grades for some would be higher, with the B turning to A and Cs turning to Bs.

New model available as statewide or national resource
To help all states significantly improve their grades and provide important quality information on physicians, HCI3 has developed a rigorous methodology to calculate outcomes of patient care. The methodology is detailed in a companion White Paper to the Report Card. Developed and refined by the organization for close to a decade, the model can be used to measure complications of care for a large variety of medical conditions, illnesses, and procedures. By leveraging this methodology, states with all-payer claims databases can calculate rates of complications, adjusted for the severity of patients cared by a physician, in a statistically reliable way.

"This new method to measure patient outcomes of care has the potential to be a watershed in the transparency movement," stated de Brantes. "Consumers would be able to find information on how well a physician does in managing a condition like diabetes, asthma or depression, or performing a procedure such as weight-loss or heart surgery. And by adding information on price, states could offer their citizens a real and actionable measure on value. That's a game changer."

About HCI
Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, Inc. (HCI3®) is a not-for-profit organization that aims to create significant improvements in the quality and affordability of health care through evidence-based incentive programs and support of payment reform models. Its nationally recognized programs, Bridges to Excellence® and PROMETHEUS Payment® have been at the forefront of payment reform and the new PROMETHEUS Analytics® offers transformational insights for payers and providers.

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SOURCE Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute