Washington Health Alliance Releases New Quality Composite Score


The Alliance uses its new quality composite score to compare care across
Accountable Communities of Health and counties.

 SEATTLE – Today the Washington Health Alliance published a new method for reporting on medical care quality in Washington state. The new quality composite score combines up to 29 measures from the Alliance’s Community Checkup, a comprehensive report on the quality of care being delivered to the commercially and Medicaid-insured. The Alliance has issued 13 Community Checkup reports, but this is the first time it has combined measures to create a single simplified score.

“This is a revolutionary way for us to look at health care quality and see what we need to do to effect positive change in our state,” says Alliance Executive Director Nancy Giunto. The report includes results for all nine Accountable Communities of Health (ACHs), 27 counties for those with Medicaid coverage, and 24 counties for those with commercial insurance. The score summarizes results across four different areas considered to be indicators of strong primary care delivery:

  • Prevention and Screening includes well-child visits, adolescent well-care, and screenings for chlamydia, breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer;
  • Care for Chronic Diseases examines whether diabetes, high cholesterol, depression, and hypertension are well-managed;
  • Coordinated, Cost-Effective Care considers whether costly inpatient readmissions and potentially unnecessary emergency room visits are avoided; and
  • Appropriate, Cost-Effective Care reports on whether evidence-based practices are utilized, including prescribing generic medications and avoiding the inappropriate use of antibiotics.

“At the Alliance, we believe it’s important to highlight variation in care quality across geographies as we have done for many years,“ Giunto continued, “we know from well-documented research that health status and the quality of the care one receives (or the needed care not received) are functions of more than the quality of the healthcare delivery system. Social determinants of health play a critical role and eliminating potential obstacles to care often takes place at the community level.” Carol Moser, Executive Director of the Greater Columbia ACH, says, “What we focus on is driven by what the data tells us. Understanding where the opportunities are at the county level helps us to better identify priority initiatives and measure progress for the nine counties and one tribal nation we serve. This report gives us valuable information to improve the health of all of our residents.”

The Alliance will utilize its new quality composite score methodology to report at the medical group and clinic location level in its next Community Checkup report, due to be released in September.

Clinical and business leaders who are members of the Alliance’s Quality Improvement and Health Economics Committees supported the development of the quality composite score including identifying the measures used and developing the methodology.


Date: August 5, 2020
Contact: Leslie Bennett
Phone: 206.454.2961
Email: lbennett@wahealthalliance.org

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