Health Care Reform Demands Cost, Quality Transparency
A final health care reform plan in California must require health care providers to release quality and cost data, or "well-meaning reform ultimately will be unsustainable," Bill Novelli, CEO of AARP, Peter Lee, CEO of the Pacific Business Group on Health, and James Guest, CEO of Consumers Union, write in a San Francisco Chronicle opinion piece.
Novelli, Lee and Guest commend Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles) and Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata (D-Oakland) for including provisions that would mandate disclosure of health care quality and cost information in their health care reform proposal (ABX1 1), and they applaud Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) for building cost-control measures into his own health care overhaul plan.
The authors urge lawmakers to approve such requirements over the protests of hospitals and other health care providers, arguing, "Transparency is critical if we are to tackle the high costs of health care."
More specifically, Novelli, Lee and Guest advocate proposals that would:
- Base health care providers' compensation on the quality of services provided, rather than the quantity of services;
- Expand use of preventive care and disease management programs; and
- "Embrace health information technology to save lives and money," while facilitating widespread access to cost and quality data (Novelli et al., San Francisco Chronicle, 12/6).