One of the biggest health care news stories of 2013 was the lack of price transparency. But consumers need much more than price information to know how to shop for health care services.
They need extensive information on the quality of care physicians, hospitals, and other providers deliver. Unfortunately, data on the quality that physicians and hospitals deliver are not as widespread or as robust as they need to be.
A recent report, “State Report Card on Transparency of Physician Quality Information,” from the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute (HCI3) addresses the issue, saying:
“… finding information on the quality of physicians remains elusive for most consumers. While Medicare has a public web site that contains information on physicians, it is completely void of any data on the quality of care delivered. That’s all the more surprising since physicians have been reporting a basket of quality measures to Medicare for several years.
“There are commercial websites that provide some information on the quality of physician care, but there’s often a fee to pay for the full report, and the objectivity of the data on those sites has been questioned by many researchers.”