Two-Thirds of States Have Little Physician Quality Information Available

Only a few states have readily available information on the quality of physician care, according to the second annual State Report Card on Transparency of Physician Quality Information from the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute.

Only a few states have readily available information on the quality of physician care, according to the second annual State Report Card on Transparency of Physician Quality Information from the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute (HCI3).

The report bestows an F grade on the majority of states. In fact, only 10 states did not receive a failing final grade. Scoring criteria, which was unchanged from the previous year, included scope of transparent quality information, which took into account the percentage of healthcare professionals with public available quality information; scope of measures, which includes outcome, process, and patient experience; and accessibility of information, which measures if consumers can find the information, understand the information, and how useful that information is.

“For all those who got an F, there is no excuse,” write report authors Lauren Bennett; Francois de Brantes, MS, MBA; Jessica DiLorenzo, MA; and Warren McGuire. “And how can there be?”

Only Minnesota and Washington received an A, Maine and California received a B, Massachusetts and Wisconsin received a C, and Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, and Oregon all received a D. The remaining states and the District of Columbia all received an F.

Minnesota is the clear winner, with 80% of clinicians with transparent quality information, followed distantly by Washington with 57%. In comparison, only 1% of clinicians in North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming have 1% transparent quality information.

There was improvement among the states. California, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Wisconsin are all up one letter grade from the previous year, while Maine increased 2 grades from a D in 2013 to a B this year. However, Pennsylvania dropped from a D to join the rest of the states with an F.

“Consumers are flying blind when it comes to selecting hospitals and physicians, and public and private sector purchasers cannot hope to improve the overall quality and affordability of American health care if they don’t find a way to solve this problem,” the authors wrote. “Some states have and every other state in the Union should follow suit.”