January 14, 2014

HCI3 Launches INQUIREHealthcare Offering Consumers a One-stop Shop for Cost and Quality Information

Resources help patients find good care through clinician search app, encourages consumers to engage in health care reform movement

NEWTOWN, CT – JANUARY 14, 2014 – To arm consumers with quality and cost information and tools they need to play a more active role in the health care reform movement, the non-profit Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute (HCI3) has created INQUIREhealthcare™. The website and clinician search app offers objective medical quality, cost and safety information that's easy for consumers to understand and use to make informed decisions regarding their care.

"Health care reform has been underway for some time and it's appalling how painfully slow it's been for so little progress," said Francois de Brantes, HCI3 executive director. "For the status quo to change, it's going to require pressure from consumers who aren't happy with the current system. We've developed these resources to help patients join the fight and take an active role in bringing about meaningful change to the U.S. health care system."

Consumer quality app closes information gaps
Consumer can find information on the quality and cost of care of clinicians and hospitals in their local area with the free INQUIREhealthcare clinician search app (both online and available as a mobile app). INQUIREhealthcare is different from other physician finders in that it's based on objective nationally-accepted standards of health care quality and cost, rather than subjective consumer or peer reviews. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android, INQUIREhealthcare allows consumers to easily find doctors, nurses and hospitals recognized for providing high quality care for conditions such as diabetes, cardiac care, hypertension, heart failure, coronary heart disease, COPD, asthma and digestive health.

While the breadth of data in the app is limited to what is available to the public today in all states, HCI3 will update the app as new data become accessible, including data from Medicare. The app also uses data from The Leapfrog Group's Hospital Safety Score, providing hospital patient safety ratings and showing how well hospitals protect patients from accidents, injuries, harm, and error.

You can't improve what you can't measure
A lack of transparency is the reason so many patients experience issues with the U.S. health care system. To inform consumers on how states are doing for health care improvement initiatives such as cost and quality transparency, the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute develops and publishes scorecards around issues such as physician quality transparency and cost transparency. The latest reports: State Score Card on Price Transparency and the State Score Card on Physician Quality Transparency are available on the INQUIREhealthcare website.

Join the fight
To encourage consumer involvement in reforming health care, the website will serve as a community offering first-hand accounts from patients on how the health care system failed them and to share their stories. Additionally resources are available such as how to contact Congress to let them know you aren't ok with the status quo, and how to become an INQUIRE ambassador to receive tools and personal support to help start grassroots movements in your local community to help change the health care systems as it stands today.

"For decades people have been saying patients are the most underused resource in medicine," said patient engagement advocate and health policy adviser "e-Patient Dave" deBronkart. "A key factor is that we haven't had access to useful information to make informed and empowered decisions. It's estimated that consumers do ten times more research when choosing a TV than a doctor or hospital, as if it's the patient's fault – but the main reason has been the lack of cost and quality information needed to make choices. This new resource will be a big step in enabling consumer-patients, which will at long last let market forces reward great performers."

About the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, Inc.
The Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, Inc. (HCI3®) is a non-profit multi-stakeholder umbrella organization for Bridges to Excellence® and PROMETHEUS Payment®. The mission of the organization is to create significant improvements in the quality and affordability of health care by developing and implementing programs that recognize and reward physicians, hospitals and other health care providers that deliver safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable and patient-centered care. HCI3 offers a comprehensive package of solutions to employers, health plans and coalitions to improve the flawed incentives that currently permeate the U.S. health care system.

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Media Contact:
Cary Conway