Premier is warning the Federal Trade Commission that the use of proprietary black boxes to generate federally required quality-data reportingdata that promises to stoke competition among providers by informing consumers could create monopolies among suppliers of quality measures and actually harm consumers by depriving them of access to transparent information.
Premier, a group purchasing organization that collaborated with the CMS in the Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration Project, offered the opinion in a comment letter in advance of an FTC workshop examining competition in healthcare based on quality. The FTC has not set the date for the workshop.
The letter notes that the CMS proposed, but didnt finalize, quality measures for cardiac surgery that called for Medicares annual payment update to be based on data from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons clinical data registry. We believe that all aspects of the registry data specifications, collection and measurement calculation algorithms would need to be placed in the public domain before such data are integrated into the program, Premiers letter states. The letter goes on to suggest that private companies could still make money by providing value-added data processing, analytics, comparative data and third-party licensing with other vendors wishing to provide such services. -- by Gregg Blesch