Giving Consumers and Purchasers More Input on Performance Measures

Advocating for transparency and accountability in the health care system

Field of Work: Transparency and accountability in the health care system

Problem Synopsis: Developing and implementing measures of health care quality are key challenges facing the country as it strives to make health care more effective and efficient. Health care providers and health insurance plans have played the dominant role in policy-making and on advisory bodies charged with developing valid measures. However, according to the Consumer-Purchaser Disclosure Project, consumers and purchasers are “consistently underrepresented and ill-equipped to adequately advance their perspective.”

Synopsis of the Work: In 2003, the Leapfrog Group, which focuses on patient safety, founded the Consumer-Purchaser Disclosure Project, a coalition of more than 50 leading employer, consumer and labor organizations, to give consumers and health care purchasers a greater voice in deliberations over performance measures. The report covers activities through May 2010.

Key Results: Consumer-Purchaser Disclosure Project staff and coalition members:

  • Informed views within the Bush and Obama administrations on improving the quality and affordability of health care
  • Advanced performance measurement and its use for public reporting and payment incentives by influencing organizations that make relevant decisions
  • Strengthened the voice of consumer and purchaser representatives on more than 80 decision-making bodies such as the National Quality Forum that are developing or considering performance measures

Key Evaluation Findings: Based on interviews with 39 individuals, evaluators at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute reported that most respondents were enthusiastic about the Consumer-Purchaser Disclosure Project’s work.