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Vital Signs

The Healthcare Business Blog

Doc quality information hard to come by in most states, scorecard shows

By Rachel Landen
1:30 pm, Dec. 10 |

de Brantes

As patients make more decisions about their healthcare, information about physician quality is not readily available to them in most states, according to a scorecard released by the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute.

The not-for-profit organization's Transparency of Physician Quality Information assigns grades to states based on the percentage of physicians and supporting healthcare professionals with publicly available quality information; the type of measurement provided—outcomes, process and patient experience; and the accessibility of that information. Just two states—Minnesota and Washington—earned an A, California received a C, and the remaining 47 failed with either a D or F.

“We're 15 years out from the Institute of Medicine's trailblazing report calling for the transformation of a 'fundamentally flawed' healthcare system, and for the most part we still have no idea of the quality of care delivered by the majority of physicians in the U.S.,” Francois de Brantes, executive director of the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, said in a release. “That's not just shameful, but it unnecessarily puts patients at risk. By highlighting states that are making a conscious effort to provide data to consumers, we hope to encourage others to embark on similar efforts.”

In Minnesota, one of the top two grade earners, 66% of clinicians report quality data, thanks to statewide transparency initiatives put in place more than a decade ago. And an online resource known as Minnesota HealthScores provides consumers with quality reports on local clinics, medical groups and hospitals, plus average cost comparisons for common procedures.

In fact, Minnesota also was one of the top scorers earlier this year when the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute and Catalyst for Payment Reform released their State Scorecard on Price Transparency. Minnesota earned a B for that metric, but the majority of states—46—were considered to have little to no healthcare price transparency, receiving either a D or F.

Follow Rachel Landen on Twitter: @MHrlanden

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