Our View: US News Common Care a Step Forward for Healthcare Transparency

Yesterday’s launch of Best Hospitals for Common Care by US News and World Report is yet another indication of consumers’ thirst for transparent healthcare information.

While traditionally, US News has provided information to help patients with complex medical needs, Common Care rates hospitals based on performance for common procedures like knee replacements and conditions like congestive heart failure. The ratings heavily draw upon Medicare as well as other data sources.

As reported by US News earlier this week, this same analysis showed patients bore a higher risk of complications (even death) following common procedures when treated at hospitals whose surgical teams performed fewer of them.

Unearthing this information and making it clear, concise and actionable for consumers is a huge piece of the transparency puzzle. Without the right information, consumers (not to mention their providers and insurers) can’t make informed healthcare decisions.

Delivering valid and well documented performance information to the public, as US News has done, is an important piece of the entire healthcare transparency puzzle. As the lead partner in the Center for Healthcare Transparency, NRHI supports this effort to provide transparent information to help put the consumer in the drivers seat.

And to that end, we’re working to pull the rest of the puzzle pieces together. This includes grounding ratings in claims, clinical and patient experience data that is gathered and analyzed by trusted regional entities to inform better decision-making across all stakeholders – patients, providers, government and private purchasers

We look forward to working collaboratively with consumer facing initiatives like US News on the next generation of outcomes measures, those that look across payers, incorporate clinical data, and leverage patient reported data. We need to measure what matters, and deliver information that is actionable and trusted by all stakeholders to make a lasting impact on the cost and quality of our healthcare system. Thank you to US News and World Report for moving us one step closer to that aim.