Issue of the Month: Public Disclosure—An Essential Step for Quality Improvement
By Vida Foubister and Anne-Marie Audet
Summary: Giving physicians and patients easy access to clinical performance information is an essential step toward improving quality. Massachusetts Health Quality Partners has just released a report on quality of care among the state's primary care physician groups and practices—moving a step beyond their previous reports on hospitals and health plans.
Data on the clinical performance of primary care physicians are now publicly available at the medical group level in Massachusetts, following the release this month of a report by a coalition of physicians, hospitals, health plans, purchasers, consumers, government agencies, and academics. Formed in 1995, Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP) gathered information from the state's five largest private health plans on the quality of care provided by 150 medical groups. The coalition then posted this data on its Web site to encourage consumers to search for high-quality providers and guide physicians looking to improve their performance.