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Public Reporting of Quality Outcomes: What’s the Best Path Forward?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More than 25 years have passed since what is now the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began publishing hospital mortality data. Great strides have been taken since then in collecting and making public more and better information about the quality of care delivered by hospitals and other providers. CMS’s websites, like, make much of this information available to a wide audience.

The Affordable Care Act aims to promote higher quality care in part by rewarding – and eventually requiring – the reporting of certain quality measures. Twenty-nine states require public reporting of some hospital-acquired infections. Public reporting of outcomes and other quality data has the potential to empower consumer choice, encourage payers to reward quality and efficiency, and help providers to benchmark and improve on the care delivered.

Previous efforts suggest that public reporting can add significant value. Yet there are concerns about the best way to measure outcomes and quality, the possible unintended effects of public reporting, and whether purchasers and consumers actually use the information to make choices.

What is the exact nature of public reporting? How might it affect patients, purchasers and providers of care? What role can public reporting play in the larger effort to improve the quality and lower the cost of health care? What can we learn from previous efforts? How does the Affordable Care Act affect public reporting? What risks, if any, are involved?

To address these questions and more, the Alliance for Health Reform and The Commonwealth Fund are sponsoring an April 27 luncheon briefing. Panelists will be: Nancy Foster, American Hospital Association; Thomas Scully, Alston & Bird, former head of what is now CMS; David Share, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan; and Gerry Shea, AFL-CIO. Anne-Marie Audet of Commonwealth and Ed Howard of the Alliance will co-moderate.


 Tom Scully, Alston & Bird, Speaker
 Gerry Shea, AFL-CIO, Speaker
 Nancy Foster, American Hospital Association, Speaker
 David Share, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Speaker
 Anne-Marie Audet, The Commonwealth Fund, Moderator
 Ed Howard, Alliance for Health Reform, Moderator
(Click on the camera icon to see a video of the speaker's presentation.)

Transcript, Event Summary and/or Webcast and Podcast

Transcript: Public Reporting of Quality Outcomes: What’s the Best Path Forward? (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 4/27/2011
Event Summary: Event Summary (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 4/27/2011
Full Webcast/Podcast: Public Reporting of Quality Outcomes: What's the Best Path Forward?

The full webcast and podcast for this briefing, as well as videos of individual speakers' presentations, are provided by Kaiser Family Foundation.

Speaker Presentations

Anne-Marie Audet (PowerPoint), 4/27/2011
Gerry Shea (PowerPoint), 4/27/2011
Thomas Scully (PowerPoint), 4/27/2011
Nancy Foster (PowerPoint), 4/27/2011
David Share (PowerPoint), 4/27/2011

(If you want to download one or more slides from these presentations, contact us at info@allhealth or click here for instructions.)

Source Materials

Agenda (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 4/27/2011
Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 4/27/2011
Materials List (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 1/27/2011
Experts Sourcelist (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 4/27/2011
Event Summary (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 4/27/2011

Offsite Materials (briefing documents saved on other websites)

Transparency as a Pillar of a Quality and Safety Culture: The Experience of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, 12/1/2008
- Audet, Anne-Marie, Raju R, Jacobs CM, et al.
Physicians’ Views on Public Reporting of Hospital Quality Data, Medical Care Research and Review, 7/2/2008
- Barr, Judith, et al.
Will Pay-For-Performance and Quality Reporting Affect Health Care Disparities?, Health Affairs, 4/10/2007
- Casalino, Lawrence, et al
$1 billion Patient Safety Effort Relies on Physician Outreach, American Medical News, 4/25/2010
- Fiegl, Charles
Consumers’ Priorities for Hospital Quality Improvement and Implications for Public Reporting, California HealthCare Foundation, 4/2/2011
- Ginsburg, Marjorie and Kathy Glasmire
Data on Medicare Patients Shines a Light on Hospital Safety for Others, Chicago Tribune, 4/10/2011
- Graham, Judith.
New List Offers Hospital-Specific Data on Patient Safety, Los Angeles Times, 4/11/2011
- Graham, Judith
Transparency and Public Reporting Are Essential for a Safe Health Care System, The Commonwealth Fund, 3/17/2010
- Leape, Lucian
Data Debate: HAC Numbers on Website Draw Criticism, ModernHealthcare, 4/11/2011
- McKinney, Maureen
Proposed Medicare Hospital Rules Would Help Improve Care Quality, , 4/20/2011
- Medical News Today
A Road Map for Improving the Performance of Performance Measures, Health Affairs, 4/1/2011
- Pronovost, Peter and Richard Lilford
HCFA’s Agenda for Promoting High-Quality Care, Health Affairs, 4/1/1988
- Roper, W L and G M Hackbarth
A Survey of newspaper Coverage of HCFA Hospital Mortality Data, Public Health Reports, 10/1/1991
- Rudd, Joel and Karen Glanz
How A Regional Collaborative Of Hospitals And Physicians In Michigan Cut Costs And Improved The Quality Of Care, Health Affairs, 4/1/2011
- Share, David et al.
Public Reporting on Hospital Process Improvements is Linked to Better Patient Outcomes, Health Affairs, 6/1/2010
- Werner, Rachel and Eric T. Bradlow
Relationship between Medicare’s Hospital Compare Performance Measures and Mortality Rates, Journal of American Medical Association, 12/13/2006
- Werner, Rachel and Eric T. Bradlow.
The Effect of Pay-For-Performance in Hospitals: Lessons for Quality Improvement, Health Affairs, 4/1/2011
- Werner, Rachel, Jonathan Kolstad, et al


Anne-Marie Audet of The Commonwealth Fund points out why publicly available quality data is essential to transforming U.S. health care. From the April 27 briefing cosponsored by the fund. (11 min.)

Tom Scully, senior counsel in Alston & Bird's Washington, DC office, discusses the value at the individual hospital level of public quality reporting. From the April 27 briefing cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund. (11 min.)

Gerry Shea of the AFL-CIO discusses how public reporting of quality measures can inspire improvements in the entire health care system. From the April 27 briefing cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund. (16 min.)

Nancy Foster of the American Hospital Association stressed that public quality reporting should be sound, actionable, fair and important at the April 27 briefing cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund. (14 min.)

David Share of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan offered a way of improving the public reporting of quality measures at the April 27 briefing cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund. (13 min.)


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