A JKTG-funded report by Liz Sweeney, president of Nutshell Associates LLC,  examines current quality measurement of U.S. health care. The report is the first in a series that aims to improve understanding of the challenges associated with quality measurement and build consensus for a way forward that achieves the goal of improving value.

It identifies six core challenges and the unintended consequences of often well-meaning measures. Excerpt below:

There is notable dissatisfaction with the current quality measurement system, including the large number of metrics in use; the unintended consequences of reliance on reported measures and incentive programs; excessive reliance on process measures over outcomes measures; disagreement over how to effectively measure outcomes; information that’s confusingly reported in a multitude of formats; and high collection and reporting costs. A portion of these challenges can be attributed to lack of a universally agreed upon definition of what quality means in health care and dozens of stakeholder organizations that have at least partial focus on quality measurement or improvement, leading to consumer confusion, overlapping efforts, and sometimes conflicting results. In short, we’re not getting what we want out of measuring health care quality because we don’t know what we want out of measuring health care quality.

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Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis
Foundation for Health and Policy

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