Public Reporting of Quality Outcomes: What’s the Best Path Forward?

April 27, 2011

More than 25 years have passed since what is now the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began publishing hospital mortality data. Great strides have been taken since then in collecting and making public more and better information about the quality of care delivered by hospitals and other providers. CMS’s websites, like, make much of this information available to a wide audience.

The Affordable Care Act aims to promote higher quality care in part by rewarding – and eventually requiring – the reporting of certain quality measures. Twenty-nine states require public reporting of some hospital-acquired infections. Public reporting of outcomes and other quality data has the potential to empower consumer choice, encourage payers to reward quality and efficiency, and help providers to benchmark and improve on the care delivered.

Previous efforts suggest that public reporting can add significant value. Yet there are concerns about the best way to measure outcomes and quality, the possible unintended effects of public reporting, and whether purchasers and consumers actually use the information to make choices.

What is the exact nature of public reporting? How might it affect patients, purchasers and providers of care? What role can public reporting play in the larger effort to improve the quality and lower the cost of health care? What can we learn from previous efforts? How does the Affordable Care Act affect public reporting? What risks, if any, are involved?

To address these questions and more, the Alliance for Health Reform and The Commonwealth Fund are sponsoring an April 27 luncheon briefing. Panelists will be: Nancy Foster, American Hospital Association; Thomas Scully, Alston & Bird, former head of what is now CMS; DavidShare, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan; and Gerry Shea, AFL-CIO. Anne-Marie Audet of Commonwealth and Ed Howard of the Alliance will co-moderate.


Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Speaker Presentations

Anne-Marie Audet Presentation (PowerPoint)
Gerry Shea Presentation (PowerPoint)
Thomas Scully Presentation (PowerPoint)
Nancy Foster Presentation (PowerPoint)
David Share Presentation (PowerPoint)

Event Details

Agenda (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Event Resources