Report: California Earns ‘C’ Grade for Physician Quality Data
California has received a "C" grade for the accessibility of data on physician quality, according to a national report released Tuesday by the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, Kaiser Health News' "Capsules" reports.
Details of the Report
Researchers used a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation directory of websites that evaluate health care quality to determine whether the available information was:
- Available at no cost to consumers; and
- Produced by independent third parties.
Researchers also assessed whether the data included a range of physicians, including specialists.
Sites that did not include such information were excluded from the report.
The report then scored each state on several factors, including:
- The percentage of doctors rated;
- Whether ratings included information about patient outcomes;
- Consumer experiences; and
- How easy it was to find the information through an Internet search (Appleby, "Capsules," Kaiser Health News, 12/10).
The report gave California a "C" score, saying it achieved 45 of 100 possible points.
In California, the report examined online quality data posted by:
- The California Office of the Patient Advocate; and
- Aligning Forces Humboldt -- Quality Care Reports.
The report found that in California:
- Transparent quality data were accessible for 37% of physicians;
- Data on intermediate outcomes were accessible 24% of the time; and
- Data on processes were accessible 76% of the time (HCI3 report, 12/10).
Francois de Brantes, co-author of the report, said he was "shocked" by the report's findings, adding, "I honestly thought the availability of information on the quality of physicians was far more prevalent … It's a very mixed bag" ("Capsules," Kaiser Health News, 12/10).
In a release, the study authors wrote that "finding information on the quality of physicians remains elusive for most consumers" and that the lack of accessible quality information "puts patients at risk every day" (HCI3 release, 12/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.