On the dearth of clinical quality information

by jerry on April 12, 2019
STAT published an opinion piece highlighting the lack of clinical quality information available to patients. With all of the talk about high-value medicine, we need to be cognizant that value involves both price and quality. While it is true that information on both fronts is lacking within the practice of medicine in the US, there is at least some more pricing information that is available. Except for the few small pockets of information outlined in the piece, there is very little clinical quality information that is available to consumers.

While there have been large efforts to define clinical quality metrics (e.g. the National Quality Forum), actual physician performance data on those metrics is rarely disseminated publicly. Organizations outside of the medical establishment (such as Propublica and Consumers' Checkbook) have tried to rate surgeons, drawing criticism from the medical community. It is possible that the most successful measures will come from large self-insured employers who mandate disclosure of some information.