Quality measures that matter

#5in5_Blog_BannerAs the health care system transitions from volume to value, doctors are drowning in a sea of quality measures.

According to a recent study published in the journal Health Affairs, U.S. physician practices in four common specialties are spending, on average, 785 hours per physician and more than $15 billion each year on reporting quality measures.

While providers recognize quality measures can help produce better outcomes at lower costs, many health care experts are concerned that the sheer number of measures actually limits the overall effectiveness.

Trying to meet each payer’s different set of measurements is a nearly impossible task. But with quality metrics increasingly being tied to how much doctors and hospitals are being paid, it’s essential to have some way of measuring performance.

That’s one of the reasons why the Institute of Medicine (IOM) last year convened a committee to identify core measures for health and health care.

“If we want to know how effective and efficient our health expenditures are in order to improve health and lower costs, we need to measure the most crucial health outcomes to guide our choices and gauge impact,” Dr. David Blumenthal, president of the Commonwealth Fund, stated in the IOM report.

Doctors at Lehigh Valley Health Network have gotten a head start on this effort.

According to Allie Yudt, director of value-based contracts at Lehigh Valley, payers across 10 of the health system’s value-based contracts had 177 different quality measures. But with its data and analytics tools, Lehigh Valley has been able to streamline those diverse quality measures into a more manageable set of priorities, which are based on the network’s patient population.

Yudt explains these prioritized categories in the latest #5in5 from Optum Provider. She also explains how Lehigh Valley shares quality measurements with physicians and how it is developing benchmarks for comparisons.

The #5in5 series features industry experts answering five questions in five minutes on the transitioning health care industry.


About the Author:

Leslie Cozatt currently serves as Director of Marketing, Optum Provider – Thought LH_low-resLeadership and Content Strategy.

She directs the development of content that spotlights the role of data analytics in healthcare – specifically the transition to value-based care, risk management and population health management. She brings to her role more than 20 years of experience developing B2B and B2C integrated marketing campaigns for companies including ThreeWire, Eliance and 3M. Leslie attended the University of Minnesota and graduated from Wellington College with a BS in International Business & Communication.

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