Measures that Matter: Team Seeks Data that Consumers Can Use for Health Care Decisions
For New York consumers looking to buy a car or a computer, descriptive information and ratings abound. But when it comes to the crucial choice of a doctor or hospital, valid, relevant, and accessible quality comparisons are remarkably hard to come by. UHF’s Quality Institute, with grant support from the New York State Health Foundation, is tackling this problem by examining publicly available quality measures, the information consumers and patients want most for medical decision making, and the obstacles to finding that information.
In a September meeting of the project’s advisory group, state and national health care experts were welcomed by UHF president Anthony Shih, MD, as they gathered at UHF to discuss the progress of the project—including development of a catalog of quality measures for a group of “shoppable” medical and surgical procedures that are available on the Internet. More than 70 websites were scanned by the UHF project team for information useful to consumers, and 32 of those sites were selected for closer examination. Most sites, the team found, were lacking in some way—with no quality measures on patient experience, no outcomes for specific conditions, no patient evaluations, or no information on the data sources and methods behind the ratings.
A report on the project’s findings and conclusions will be published later in the year.The session also featured a detailed discussion, moderated by Lynn Rogut, director of UHF’s Quality Measurement and Care Transformation project, on the performance data that consumers find most useful for evaluating providers. Those include measures related to the patient/clinician relationship, condition-specific outcomes, service quality, and insurance plan participation. Advisory group members delved into how best to gather and present that information in an accurate and easily understood form.
The “Empowering Patients” Team
Arthur Aaron Levin, MPH, Director, Center for Medical Consumers
Joseph Baker, JD, President, Medicare Rights Center
Elisabeth Benjamin, JD, Vice President of Health Initiatives, Community Service Society
Leah Binder, MA, MGA, President and CEO, The Leapfrog Group
Helen Burstin, MD, MPH, FACP, Chief Scientific Officer, National Quality Forum
Kristin Carman, MA, PhD, Director of Public and Patient Engagement, Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Carol Cronin, MSW, MA, Executive Director, Informed Patient Institute
Andrea Ducas, MPH, Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Susan Frampton, MA, PhD, President, Planetree
Jessica Greene, MPH, MIA, PhD, Professor and Luciano Chair of Health Care Policy, Baruch College
Natalie Helbig, MPA, PhD, Deputy Director, Division of Information and Statistics, Office of Quality and Patient Safety, New York State Department of Health
Rebecca Kirch, JD, Executive Vice-President for Healthcare, Quality and Value, The National Patient Advocate Foundation
Doris Peter, PhD, Director, Health Ratings Center, Consumer Reports
Mark Schlesinger, PhD, Professor of Public Health, Yale University
Maribeth Shannon, MSHA, Consultant, formerly with the California Health Care Foundation
Shoshanna Sofaer, MPH, DrPH, Managing Researcher, American Institutes for Research
Linda Weiss, PhD, Director, Center for Evaluation and Applied Research, New York Academy of Medicine
New York State Health Foundation
Sharrie McIntosh, MHA, Vice President for Programs
Amy Shefrin, MPA, Program Officer
United Hospital Fund
Anne-Marie Audet, MD, MSc, SM, Senior Medical Officer
Deborah Halper, MPH, MS, Vice President, Education and Program Initiatives
Pooja Kothari, RN, MPH, Program Manager, Quality Improvement
Lynn Rogut, MCRP, Director, Quality Measurement and Care Transformation
Anthony Shih, MD, MPH, President
Resources for family caregivers and health care providers are available at our Next Step in Care website.