States Have Long Way to Go in Helping Consumers Learn About Quality of Their Doctors

States Have Long Way to Go in Helping Consumers Learn About Quality of Their Doctors

Only three states earned As and more than half received Fs in HCI3’s annual report card

Media Contact: Cary Conway

NEWTOWN, CT – Nov. 29, 2016 – American consumers can find online quality ratings before purchasing just about anything—books, electronics, even vacations. But when it comes to finding out if their doctor provides high quality care the information is hard to find per the latest scorecard from the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute (HCI3). The non-profit released its annual State Report Card on Transparency of Physician Quality Information finding that most states are lacking when it comes to providing information to consumers on the quality of physician care.

This year, only California, Maine, and Minnesota earned an A, and more than half of states scored an F.

“This year’s low scores are especially disappointing as the health care sector has been focused on quality data for some time,” said François de Brantes, HCI3 Executive Director. “As major payers—Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial insurance plans—migrate toward paying physicians for performance instead of volume of care, they’re requiring providers to collect and report more and more quality information. Consumers deserve access to quality insights, too. We’ll continue to advocate—and offer real-world tools—for opening up clear, accessible quality information to the people most affected by it: patients themselves.”

Meaningful physician quality transparency tools for patients are the foundation of this Report Card’s scoring and have several things in common:

  • Independent and impartialResearch shows that health care consumers are skeptical of quality information that comes from a source that has a financial or other interest in the information such as their health plan. A best practice is to have transparency tools provided by objective, independent third parties.
  • Freely available Transparency tools can do the best for the most people when they are available without a membership fee or charge.
  • Timely data Quality data that’s old may no longer be accurate. Transparency tools need to be populated with timely information on clinician quality, preferably not older than two years.
  • Data available on many physicians The key value in providing quality information on physicians is in equipping consumers to make choices. Transparency tools can’t deliver that value if too few physicians are included in the ratings.
  • Meaningful quality measures Outcome measures that assess the impact of health care on health are the most direct appraisals of health care quality.
  • Easy to find and understand A consumer needs to find the information online and interpret it easily. Quality transparency websites should come up quickly in Internet searches, and the reporting should be geared to consumers who may not have much health care knowledge, or much time or interest for combing through and interpreting data.


HCI3 graded the states using scoring criteria that included the percentage of physicians and supporting health care professionals with publicly available quality information; the type of measurement provided (i.e. outcomes, process, patient experience); and the accessibility of the information to consumers.

Like previous reports, HCI3 leveraged the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s national directory for comparing health care quality. The directory lists public web-based resources and programs available in each state and is designed to help patients find information on the cost and quality of health care provided in their communities. The full HCI3 report and corresponding map infographic can be accessed at

About HCI3

Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, Inc. (HCI3®) is a not-for-profit organization that aims to create significant improvements in the quality and affordability of health care through evidence-based incentive programs and support of payment reform models. Its nationally recognized programs, Bridges to Excellence® and PROMETHEUS Payment® have been at the forefront of payment reform and the new PROMETHEUS Analytics® offers transformational insights for payers and providers.

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