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The Value of Public Reporting and Transparency

Several recent journal articles about public reporting on health care quality underscore the value such transparency holds for health care providers, consumers, and payers, says The Commonwealth Fund's Anne-Marie J. Audet, M.D., in a new blog post. While one of the studies found that public reporting through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Hospital Compare Web site did not have an impact on mortality rates for heart attack, pneumonia, or heart failure, Audet argues that "this is not the most relevant finding from this research." Instead, she says, the study highlights the value of regularly updated and accessible data, which, in this case, points to a need for providers to examine their programs for these conditions. "These data allow us to assess the state of quality over time, and to appropriately prioritize strategies and resources to reach set goals," Audet says. "Without this information, we're flying blind."

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