Quality Care and Patient Outcomes in the United States

Costs associated with major planned procedures have not only skyrocketed but also varied greatly. Accordingly, traditional PPO costs have risen dramatically—for both plan sponsors and members. To offset these increases, it has often meant a trade-off in the quality of care.

Needless to say, high-quality healthcare remains a priority for Americans. Kaiser Family Foundation analysts have reported that while the quality of care in the United States’ health system continues to improve, there are still other countries that outperform the United States on key measures, including cost-related barriers to healthcare access [1].

In a report released by The Commonwealth Fund, the United States stands out for having the lowest performance when it comes to medical quality and yet maintains the highest healthcare costs. The report measured access, equity, quality, efficiency, and healthy lives across 11 countries. As indicated by the report, the United States spent just over $5,800 per person on healthcare in 2011. However, in the United Kingdom that same year, an annual healthcare cost of just over $3,400 per person was reported. The United Kingdom ranked first in this Commonwealth Fund analysis [2].

In assessing the quality of the American healthcare system, consumers have become more informed about the quality of care they expect to receive. Often times high-quality care isn’t necessarily associated with the highest-cost care when you consider hospital readmission rates. The Center of Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform states that 15-25% of people discharged from a hospital will be readmitted in 30 days or less. They go on to assert that many of these readmissions are preventable [3].

The importance of selecting top-rated medical providers with proven success continues to be top-of-mind for Americans as they are faced with the complex and sometimes confusing healthcare market here. According to a survey conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, Americans think information about the quality of healthcare is difficult to obtain from a trustworthy source. Government reports show that 30% of healthcare treatments recommended by medical professionals in the United States were not received by patients. This disconnect results in “fair” ratings for quality in the United States [4].

High-performance provider network solutions have the ability to provide high-quality care to patients while maintaining affordable costs. BridgeHealth upholds stringent standards when selecting providers for our plans. By utilizing verified, external data, we ensure top-tier options for Plan Sponsors and Plan Members. BridgeHealth partners with the top 25% of hospital providers in the country based on outcomes of care, mortality, complications, readmissions, and patient safety, process of care, and patient satisfaction. Providers in our network have attained the highest quality standards based on data from an independent source, CareChex [5]. So, you know our approved hospitals have exceptional track records of success.

1) http://kff.org/health-costs/press-release/us-improving-in-health-care-quality-but-still-lagging-behind-other-countries-new-analysis-finds/ – US Improving in Health Care Quality, But Still Lagging Behind Other Countries, New Analysis Finds (Kaiser Family Foundation)

2) http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/press-releases/2014/jun/us-health-system-ranks-last – US Health System Ranks Last Among Eleven Countries on Measures of Access, Equity, Quality, Efficiency, and Healthy Lives (The Commonwealth Fund)

3) http://www.chqpr.org/readmissions.html – Center for Healthcare Quality & Payment Reform

4) http://www.apnorc.org/projects/Pages/HTML%20Reports/finding-quality-doctors.aspx – Finding Quality Doctors: How Americans Evaluate Provider Quality in the United States (The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research)

5) http://www.carechex.com/ScoringRatingMethods.aspx – Hospital Quality Scoring and Rating Methods, Comparion Carechex