Most States Earn Failing Grades for Access to Quality Physician Data

December 18, 2014 in News

Only two U.S. states earned an “A” for providing accessible, transparent physician quality information, according to a new report card from the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, Forbes reports.

Details of Report Card

For the report, states were graded on the availability of physician quality information (Japsen, Forbes, 12/16). Specifically, states could receive up to 100 points based on the:

  • Percentage of physicians and other health care providers with publicly available quality data;
  • Scope of quality measures, including outcome, process and patient experience; and
  • Accessibility of such information to the public (Bennett et al., Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute report, 12/16).

Report Card Findings

In the report, Minnesota and Washington were the only states to receive an “A” in physician quality information transparency.

The overwhelming majority of states — 40 and Washington, D.C. — received an “F.”

Meanwhile:

  • Four states received a “D”;
  • Two states received a “C”; and
  • Two states received a “B” (Forbes, 12/16).

While most states failed, the report noted that some states improved their grades compared with last year as the result of state-based efforts to improve data transparency.

Implications

According to the report’s authors, consumers’ ability to make informed health care decisions is hindered by the lack of data.

They wrote that “there is a shocking lack of objective and useful public information on physicians, making informed choices almost impossible for most Americans” (Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute report, 12/16).

Francois de Brantes, executive director of HCIII, said he hopes the report catches the attention of lawmakers in states with poor grades, adding, “If your state isn’t receiving an A or B, it can and should” (Forbes, 12/16).

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