Aggregating Data for Public Reporting

The Experience of Community Alliances

Constructing community reports that compare the performance of physicians and medical groups is a key component of the Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) strategy to improve health care. In most communities this means moving from reports produced by individual health plans for distribution only to their members to a report that combines data from many different sources, including health plans, and is available to all community residents.

Data aggregation—the combining of data from multiple different sources for the purpose of constructing performance measures—is a critical step in creating community reports. In this issue brief, we describe the manner in which AF4Q alliances are addressing three challenges to their data aggregation efforts: (1) developing partnerships needed to carry out data aggregation activities, (2) overcoming technical issues, and (3) securing financing.