Center for Studying Health System Change

Providing Insights that Contribute to Better Health Policy


Insurance Coverage & Costs Costs The Uninsured Private Coverage Employer Sponsored Individual Public Coverage Medicare Medicaid and SCHIP Access to Care Quality & Care Delivery Health Care Markets Issue Briefs Data Bulletins Research Briefs Policy Analyses Community Reports Journal Articles Other Publications Surveys Site Visits Design and Methods Data Files

Hospital Quality Reporting: Separating the Signal from the Noise

NIHCR Policy Analysis No. 11
April 2013
Emily Carrier, Dori A. Cross

Gaps in hospital safety and quality have prompted public and private payers to push for greater accountability through clinical quality measurement and reporting initiatives, which have grown rapidly in the past two decades. With U.S. health care costs high and rising, purchasers increasingly are seeking to identify high-value hospitals that deliver good care at a reasonable price. Some payers are incorporating clinical quality measurement into health plan contracting and benefit designs to alter provider networks and patient cost sharing to guide patients toward higher-performing hospitals. Yet, amid the proliferation of new quality measures, reporting requirements and transparency efforts over the past 20 years, employers often find it difficult to separate the signal from the noise—to determine what hospital quality measures are important, how to interpret and use quality information in a meaningful way, and how to present useful and actionable information to consumers. To pursue purchasing strategies that push providers to meet standards of care for cost and quality, employers must understand the availability, validity and relevance of existing quality measures for their own enrollees. Purchasers also might consider how to promote more effective quality reporting by streamlining provider reporting requirements, supporting consistency in quality designations and exploring new ways to measure aspects of quality important to both patients and payers.

This article is available at the National Institute for Health Care Reform Web site by clicking here.






Back to Top
Site Last Updated: 9/15/2014             Privacy Policy
The Center for Studying Health System Change Ceased operation on Dec. 31, 2013.