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Health Plan Quality Data: The Importance of Public Reporting

Managed care plans that publicly release data about their performance on standard quality measures are more likely to provide better care than plans that do not. The correlation between quality of care and public access to performance data is so strong, according to a recent study, that purchasers choosing among health plans should avoid those that fail to make their data public.

In "Health Plan Quality-of-Care Information Is Undermined by Voluntary Reporting," a study funded by The Commonwealth Fund, Joseph W. Thompson, M.D., and colleagues present evidence that health plan performance is highly associated with whether a plan publicly releases its performance information. The finding makes a compelling argument for the support of policies that mandate reporting of quality-of-care measures. Currently, there are no universal reporting requirements imposed on managed care plans.

Publication Details



"Health Plan Quality Data: The Importance of Public Reporting," Joseph W. Thompson, Sathiska D. Pinidiya et al., American Journal of Preventive Medicine 24, 1 (January 2003): 62–70