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Health care opinion leaders support public reporting of health care quality, prices
Date:11/19/2007

New York, November 19, 2007Health care providers, insurance companies and drug makers should make information about prices available to the public, according to a new survey of leaders in health care and health policy. The latest Commonwealth Fund/Modern Healthcare Health Care Opinion Leaders Survey finds widespread support for such measures: In addition to the reporting of provider quality and prices, 86 percent of respondents support public reporting of drug prices charged to major purchasers, and 82 percent support the public reporting of medical loss ratiosthe share of premium dollars that private insurance companies spend on actual medical care, rather than marketing, administration, and other expense or profit.

The survey focused on transparency in health care quality and pricingthat is, the public reporting of such information by name of hospital, physician practice, or other health care provider. Three-quarters of health care leaders believe increased transparency in quality and price is essential to improving the performance of the U.S. health care system.

Improved transparency can help reduce the ever-increasing spiral of health care costs, the respondents said, but only to a small degree. Two-thirds (69%) of opinion leaders see improved transparency as a means of reducing health care spending. There is great variability of opinion on how great an impact transparency would have on cost. Seventeen percent believe it will reduce spending by more than 5 percent, while 31 percent think it will reduce spending by 1 percent to 5 percent.

On the other hand, four out of five (81%) opinion leaders think that more widespread public reporting of information could stimulate providers to improve their performance through quality improvement activities. Transparency is important because it motivates physicians and hospitals to assess and improve their care, said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis. For those providers that arent
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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