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Surgical Survival Predictors May Be Next Big Quality Metric

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 19, 2011

"Transparency," she continues, "is how you build community support. You start to build bridges with other providers in the community that you need to be working with and that's how you build trust."

Binder says many employer groups are worried about accountable care organizations, because they fear "here's just another monopoly in the community that will give them fewer opportunities to contract; they'll just raise costs and employers won't know why. But hospital transparency is the way to break down suspicions."

It's also, she says, a way to open the doors to a conversation.

Another thing hospital quality leaders should brace themselves for, Binder says, is precise percentage point scoring as opposed to the way Hospital Compare posts data today, which tells consumers and other providers very little. For example, she says about 95% of the hospitals show up as "average." And the remaining 5% as either good or bad.

"Value-based purchasing is just not going to work if you don't show variation because these cut offs don't show hospitals differentiating that much," Binder said. Don Berwick, MD, administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, "has been absolutely clear," she added,  that when hospital scores are posted for VBPP, they will make much finer distinctions.

Binder says that hospitals and other providers should "stay tuned, because there's a lot more to come."

"We use the best science out there to get information to the public, because people have a right to know: How am I going to do when I come to your hospital."


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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2 comments on "Surgical Survival Predictors May Be Next Big Quality Metric"


John Rosenstock (5/24/2011 at 9:32 AM)
I would include gastric bypass surgery in the list as the mortaility rates can be very high at some hospitals.

Catherine Smith (5/20/2011 at 4:17 PM)
Healthcare transparency is a good idea in an ideal world. I am grateful to be able to look at publicly reported data and be able to determine what facility has the better outcomes, morbidity, and mortality rates in order to promote positive patient outcomes and consumer choice.However, the idea that the consumer actually has the ability to choose a top 10 percentile hospital is not reality. The reality is...the insurance carrier dictates what provider you choose. If the top 10 percentile facility is not in the insurance network then there is no choice. Unless a person is indigent, on Medicare, or independently wealthy.