Holding Our States Accountable

February 19, 2014

It is the end of the semester and grades are out. Would you be proud of a report card comprised of mostly Ds or Fs? Absolutely not. The sad news is that a report card full of Ds and Fs is exactly the case with our country when graded on price and quality transparency. And while it certainly isn’t something that our country is proud of, improving these grades doesn’t seem to be too much of a priority for our government.

INQUIREhealthcare’s parent organization, the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute has put out two report cards shedding light on how well each state makes healthcare costs and quality information transparent for consumer-patients. The Report Card on State Transparency Laws, co-written with the Catalyst for Payment Reform, gave only 14 states a passing grade for their price transparency efforts.

And believe it or not, quality transparency is even worse! The December 2013 State Report Card on Transparency of Physician Quality Information revealed that 48 states earned a D or an F (including Washington, D.C.). That means only 3 states received a C or higher - just 3!

The Report Card on State Transparency Laws will be updated in March, so it will be interesting to see how many states took notice of their grades and made efforts to improve it.

But, what if there is little improvement? If the government won’t take charge after non-profit organizations reveal issues, then what are the next steps? Well, by what we know, when consumers demand a certain product or service, companies usually respond. In a previous post, we discussed how in some fashion, you are a consumer of healthcare goods and services, but in order to be an informed consumer, you need to be given information to help you make your decision. You are the next step to change. INQUIREhealthcare believes that changes starts in the local communities and from there, change grows. It isn’t an easy task, but there is power in numbers. And those numbers start with you.

By becoming an INQUIRE Ambassador, you can be the movement in your community to start this change, after all, you know your community best. We need passionate people who are willing to stand up to the status quo and spread the message. And by reading this post (and possibly sharing it), you are taking steps in the right direction.