Washington, DC –. When you buy a car, or a blender, or even a toothbrush, you can research what you’re going to get. Healthcare? Not so much. Despite years of effort to measure the quality and cost of healthcare services, there exists almost no meaningful information available for purchasers, providers and patients to make informed decisions. To change this, a group of just over hundred healthcare thought leaders gathered today for the public introduction of a new transparency initiative, one that aims to provide all healthcare stakeholders equal access to meaningful healthcare quality and cost information.
Through a national network of locally governed regional entities, the new Center for Healthcare Transparency will make information on the relative quality and cost of healthcare services available to 50 percent of the U.S. population by 2020. This will enable purchasers, providers and patients to make decisions based on value, because they’ll know the quality they are getting for the price they pay.
Putting the right information in the hands of healthcare decision-makers will be a game-changing effort that should create a lasting impact on how healthcare is delivered, how it is paid for, and how much it costs
For example, employers, governments and health plans will be able to purchase high-quality healthcare at a fair cost and more easily design and participate in value-based benefit design programs. Physicians, hospitals and health systems will have the information to improve the quality of their care, enhance communication with their patients, and make more informed patient referrals. Equally important, patients will be able to make more informed choices about the providers they see and treatments they receive.
“We hear the word transparency a lot in healthcare these days. The Center is unique in that it will leverage regional efforts that are both trusted and proven to work,” said Elizabeth Mitchell, President and CEO for the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement, home to the Center. “We’re not building a database in the sky. Healthcare delivery and healthcare transformation is local. We believe this work must happen regionally, because that is where there is the trust and engagement needed to make real change happen.”
The Center is working with leading regional organizations representing all pieces of the healthcare puzzle – providers, patients, health plans, employers and public purchasers. These organizations are already reporting meaningful information that’s improving care in their communities. The Center will build on their success to enable them and others to produce and share this information in a way that is scalable across the U.S.
“The U.S. spends more on healthcare than any other country, but our patient outcomes don’t show it,” said David Lansky, CEO at the Pacific Business Group on Health, which is partnering with NRHI in planning for the Center. “To improve our health care system, we need to make sure that purchasers and consumers have the information they need to make better decisions.”
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