The Federal Trade Commission is asking the public for comments about efforts to rate the quality of health care providers.
The FTC also will be holding a roundtable workshop on the topic, the agency says.
Here are the FTC questions about provider quality measurement efforts published today in the Federal Register:
A. Purchaser Decision Making and Quality Information
1. What decisions do quality information help different types of purchasers make?
2. What are the relevant times at which purchasers make health care decisions? What quality information about health care services and providers should be presented at these critical junctures?
3. What quality information is the most competitively significant for different types of purchasers? Are different types of data (e.g., licensing information, compliance with process measures, customer satisfaction, outcomes, outcomes per dollar spent) appropriate for different purchasers and purchaser decisions? How should any differences in measurement of the same provider or service (over the same time frame) be reconciled?
4. Does health care quality vary based by medical condition, provider, and patient? Does it vary over time? If so, how should quality measures be adjusted to take these differences into account?
5. What information is needed to measure the efficiency of a provider? What is the proper weighting of quality and resource use in an efficiency measure?
6. How broad a range of differences among health care providers and services is needed to motivate purchasers to switch service providers?
7. How should regional variations be accounted for in showing the results of quality measures? Should local, state, regional, or national benchmarks be used to show differences among service providers? Why or why not?
8. How does the framing of quality information affect the purchasers’ decisions? Do symbols and summaries affect purchaser understanding of health care quality information?
9. What has been learned from public and private quality reporting initiatives that can aid the competitive process?