Pennsylvania Gets an “F” on State Report Card for Quality Transparency

In most states, including Pennsylvania, the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute (HCI3) has determined that consumers (buyers of health care) have little or no information in which to base their decision on who to buy from. Pennsylvania’s final grade was an “F.”

The Quality Transparency report card assigns each state a grade based on the number of primary and specialty care physicians for whom health care quality information is publically reported.

In total, 80 percent of the states failed to make objective quality information available to consumers. In summary for Pennsylvania, only seven percent of clinicians had transparent quality information available, and there were no scope of measures reported to the public.

According to the HCI3, in 2013, American households spent $824 billion on health insurance premiums and medical expenses. By 2015, it is estimated that 81 percent of employers will offer an option for a high deductible health plan to employees and 31 percent will only offer a high deductible plan. At a time when more and more consumers are expected to share in the cost of their health care, very little information is publically available on health care costs and quality.

Additionally, the report card accounts for the scope of measures reported and the ease of accessibility of the information. The report card excludes hospital quality information, as the focus of the research is on individual clinicians, including primary and specialty physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.