2004 Conference Attendees Recommend Ways to Measure and Improve Quality of Care Provided by Physicians

Conference to develop a road map for measuring and improving the quality of medical care

The Pacific Business Group on Health and Lumetra, California's Quality Improvement Organization, co-sponsored a conference on October 5–6, 2004, in Washington to map a research and policy agenda to advance physician performance measures.

Key Conclusions

  • There are already tools in the marketplace that can produce physician performance scores for quality and cost-efficiency using administrative data such as data derived from hospital discharge summaries, physician billing claims and claims for prescription drugs.

  • There is significant effort underway to develop consensus on national standards for physician quality and cost-efficiency performance measurements that could drive system change.

Key Recommendations

  • To move the physician measurement agenda forward, conference participants recommended:

    • Continued development of evidence-based quality measures that can assess individual physician performance on a broad and deep array of medical conditions and medical specialties.
    • Further work to standardize the quality and cost-efficiency measures that the marketplace will use to assess physician performance.
    • Research to assess the best ways to construct stable performance scores (e.g., levels of aggregation) and which discriminate performance.
    • Research to assess the optimal ways to provide feedback to physicians and consumers/patients to facilitate their understanding and use of the information.

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