• Chart: Consumers aren’t using quality data

    In NEJM, Robert Huckman and Mark Kelley wrote:

    Between 2006 and 2012, the prevalence of high-deductible health plans grew by 24%, exposing one third of privately insured employees to deductibles of at least $1,000. Copayments have shown similar growth, with nearly half of covered employees paying $25 or more for an office visit.

    On the hook for greater cost, was there a surge of use of quality data by consumers since 2006? Nope:


    OK, this chart doesn’t show us what might have happened after 2008. So, maybe there has been an upward surge of quality data use more recently. I doubt it, but I certainly could be wrong about that.


    • Assuming that this insight about limited use of health care quality data by consumers remains true in 2013, it suggests to me that health care has a long way to go in making this data user-friendly. Providers have favored overly nuanced quality metrics, and insurers are viewed as being biased heavily towards efficient use of resources rather than outcomes. Progress is needed in moving to a universally accepted standard.

    • Quality data is hard to obtain. Quality is even harder to define in a generic manner. Frequently the selection process existing in any comparison with another variable overwhelms the quality data.