About HealthTransparency.org is operated by IPRO, a national organization providing a full spectrum of healthcare assessment and improvement services that foster more efficient use of resources and enhance healthcare quality to achieve better patient outcomes. We have been tracking health care transparency since 1999, and started this blog in 2006.
IPRO has created several health care report cards and collaborated on many more, but there are plenty to choose from.
When you are choosing a new health plan or provider, report cards can help you explore differences between your options. We don’t always have a lot of choice, but even if a loved one is having emergency treatment a report card can help you understand the variations in health care and guide you to questions you may want to ask about your care.
If you are moving house, changing your insurance company, considering elective treatment, or a loved one is in need of care, take a look at the available reports to find out anything and everything you can about the options available to you, and the differences that exist between different hospitals, health plans and doctors.
No single report is the “right one”. None of them are perfect. Every report needs to make certain decisions about mathematical methods, what measures to show you and which to leave out. Some focus on safety, or a particular condition; some are more general. Some give more weight to outcomes than to price. Different reports might give you conflicting information about the same provider!
Don’t worry too much. All report cards are built by thoughtful people who want you to have better information at your fingertips, to empower you to be an engaged healthcare consumer, and to be able to ask the right questions of your medical provider.
Until we get a better way of collecting clinical data to show you, the reports available online are your best tools to learn about the variations in care, and the things to watch out for. Choose one that works for you and your specific needs, conditions or concerns, and use that information to become a more informed consumer.
And always, always, always consult your primary care physician if you have one.
Please feel free to visit back here with us and to leave a rating or a comment about what you found on your health transparency journey! Or join the conversation on JENY, our public discussion group.
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