July 2018 Letter from the Executive Director: Hospital Value Report
In May, the Alliance released “Hospital Value in Washington State” – the first report in the state and one of the few nationally – that combines scores on hospital quality, patient experience and cost. Since its release, we have received many positive comments and some media attention centered on the report’s findings that higher cost doesn’t mean higher quality care. However, as I said when I spoke at the National Employer Summit earlier this year, a database is just a database unless you can actually use the information to inform and drive action. So now that we have the data, how do we use the information in the report to drive value-based purchasing and help those who get, give and pay for healthcare make better choices?
Alliance member David Buchholz, MD, Medical Director, Collaborative Healthcare Solutions at Premera Blue Cross, says that specific information on cost, quality and patient experience is vital to helping them address the issues faced by their customers and provider networks.
“Premera shares data and analytics with our customers and provider network that demonstrate opportunities to improve total cost of care, quality, and patient experience. When possible, we prefer to also reference data from a trusted third party, like the Washington Health Alliance, that confirm what we believe to be true in our own data. The Alliance’s Hospital Value Report is one such example. It confirms that higher hospital costs absolutely don’t translate to better quality or patient experience.”
This is just one example of how our members and stakeholders can use data to drive and inform action. Please help us amplify our work:
- Look for opportunities to share the information with new audiences; we are always happy to accept a speaking engagement in partnership with you.
- Help us collaborate and align strategies with multiple stakeholders in Washington State and nationally who are working on the Triple Aim and affordability.
- Insist on transparency from a trusted, objective source.
- Identify specific ways in your organization to reduce overuse, underuse and misuse of healthcare through local quality improvement efforts that effectively engage key stakeholders.
All purchaser members of the Alliance, as well as members who make an annual contribution of $7,500 or more annually, have already received a copy of the Hospital Value report. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the report or wonder who in your organization already received it, please contact me.
We also love to hear your stories about how the Alliance’s work has helped you improve the way care is delivered or purchased. Please let us know about your successes and also about something that may not have worked so well. We are delighted to share best practices and we likely know an organization that may be able to help if you have hit a roadblock.
I also want to let you know that recently, the Alliance received funding from the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI) to convene a one-day affordability summit in Seattle. “Accelerating Strategies for Healthcare Affordability in Washington State,” is scheduled for Wednesday, October 31 and will feature local and national speakers and panelists. We will be sharing more details on the event in the coming months, and invite you to attend and take advantage of this valuable opportunity to share and learn with others working on affordability issues.
Achieving the goal of high quality, affordable healthcare in our state and across the U.S. will take our continued hard work. It will take each of us collaborating to find creative and sustainable solutions to the issues facing consumers and the healthcare industry today. I ask each of you to get more involved, and engaged. And thank you for your ongoing support of the Alliance and for your many contributions to our collective efforts.
Nancy A. Giunto