An Environmental Scan of Pay for Performance in the Hospital Setting: Final Report. Public Reporting


  • General Comments. Sponsors had mixed thoughts on public reporting. Some saw public reporting as a critical part of the incentive program, saying that it captures the attention of all levels of hospital staff, as well as consumers. Others saw public reporting as creating a negative tone that is at cross-purposes with collaborative, quality improvement efforts between hospitals and program sponsors. Regardless of whether they were reporting specific data from their own programs or not, many sponsors provided a website link to the CMS Hospital Compare public report card that shows performance results for approximately 3,534 hospitals participating in the RHQDAPU program. 

  • Reporters. Sponsors that reported publicly (12/22) usually posted performance scores on websites intended for health plan members (i.e., usually password protected). Data were often presented in a simple format (such as stars displaying different levels of performance) rather than as specific numeric values, and summary scores were commonly used. Most sponsors reported doing minimal to no testing of report presentation with consumers and did not know whether consumers understood or found useful the information as presented.

  • Non-Reporters. Sponsors not reporting data publicly tended to give two practical reasons for this. First, customized programs that are rolled out contract by contract do not permit comparisons, since not all hospitals have performance results or the same set of performance results. Second, some programs do not include all hospitals in a given area, again making comparisons difficult. Additionally, several sponsors underscored their desire to use their programs to work collaboratively with hospitals and thought that hospitals often viewed public reporting as a punitive strategy.

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