As detailed in our recent blog post, understanding healthcare quality is just as important as cost when patients are seeking care. And most Americans think that the quality of the healthcare they receive is excellent, despite empiric evidence that there is significant variability in patient outcomes across providers.
According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) study, the U.S. trails similar large and wealthy countries across several measures, including all-cause mortality, premature death, and disease burden. Another KFF study shows that the U.S. has the lowest life expectancy at birth among comparable countries.
Not only does the U.S. have poor clinical outcomes in comparison to similar countries, but we also spend far more on healthcare. In 2016, the U.S. spent 25% more per capita on healthcare than the second highest spender (Sweden) and 108% more than Canada. In the U.S. health system, high costs are not correlated with high quality.
Healthcare Bluebook (Bluebook) is as focused on healthcare quality transparency as we are on cost transparency. Quality transparency increases patient safety, improves outcomes, and reduces costs by helping patients make better healthcare choices.
With over a decade of experience analyzing independent data, we know that most hospitals offer a wide breadth of similar services, from hip replacements to appendectomies, but there are very few hospitals that are equally great at all the services they offer. For example, a large teaching hospital in Northern California is in the 99th percentile for neurosurgery but is only in the 10th percentile for bariatric surgery. Ensuring that patients are aware of the high-performing facilities as well as the low-performing facilities for specific procedures is critical.
The same concept applies to doctors. Just as most hospitals are not high-performing across all surgeries they offer, not all doctors are high-performing across all surgeries they perform. For patients to get a full transparency picture, they must have access to doctor-specific quality information as well. Bluebook’s Doctor Quality is comprised of two main components:
- Doctor-specific patient outcomes for a specific surgery: How do my doctor’s joint replacement patients fare when compared to other doctors performing the same surgery?
- Doctor-specific overall patient outcomes for a category: How do all my doctor’s surgical patients fare when compared to other doctor’s surgical patients?
Bluebook goes a step further by offering a doctor profile page, which users can access via the web, our mobile app, or by calling our member support line. The doctor profile page includes the doctor’s overall quality ranking as well as his or her quality ranking by procedure. Another valuable component of the doctor profile page is the Patient Savings Rating, which compares prices at different locations where a doctor performs procedures and refers patients. All of this helps patients navigate to the best facilities and physicians, so they receive the highest quality, most affordable care for their specific needs.
For a complete list of Bluebook’s features and transparency offering, request a demo today.
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