• AcademyHealth: Wal-Mart shops for high quality care

    A number of companies are using their large purchasing power to negotiate for better rates for rare procedures. It’s called Centers-of-Excellence contracting. It’s the topic of my latest piece at the AcademyHealth blog.  Go read!


    • As we spend hundreds of millions of dollars on health Information technology (HIT) , let’s make the capture and reporting of the data payers need to evaluate quality, one of the outcomes we are paying for. To judge by the predominant method of data collection still used by health plans to perform their annual HEDIS reviews – chart review of paper records by nurse auditors – its fair to say that after at least 15 years of development HIT has still not been able to deliver an acceptable electronic encounter record detailing the basic information related to a physician visit.

      Now as we move towards global payment and will be paying for an “episode of care”, rather than a specific procedure or service, the details of the quantity and quality of care provided will become even murkier. It’s great in theory to say that payers of health care will be prudent purchasers and base their decisions at least in part on quality, but without the actual data to support their evaluations, it is a hollow and empty promise.

    • It would be interesting to know if this helps keep rare procedures rare. The cost of travel for patient and caregiver, and the cost of lost wages/lodging the caregiver would be substantial for many.

    • While I’ve often been skeptical of the ability of individual consumers to shop for high-quality care,

      Wouldn’t it be their GPs who would do the shopping?