Countries that spend more on health care often also have a higher life expectancy, though many other factors can contribute to variations across countries. We graphed health care spending and life expectancy for countries competing in the 2014 World Cup Group of 16 to see how these two health indicators played out.
Reference Pricing Programs Need to Follow Key Guidelines to Ensure That They Don’t Shift Costs to Consumers
Recent news articles have highlighted how some employer-based health plans have started to set dollar caps on what they will pay for certain health care services. If a consumer goes to a provider that charges more than the cap for that type of care, he or she must pay the difference. This strategy is called reference pricing.
Reference pricing is meant to encourage consumers to shop for the best care at the best price, and it even has the potential to pressure some expensive providers to set more competitive prices.
Our infographic shows how a consumer’s costs vary depending on the provider he or she chooses for a sample medical procedure that is subject to reference pricing.
Explains how reference pricing programs, when implemented in consumer-friendly ways, can minimize price variation and encourage consumers to shop for care based on price and quality.
In health care, one of the most common questions asked by doctors, researchers, policymakers, and even patients is, “What works?” The answer lies in measuring and quantifying the quality of the different types of health care services that patients receive. To do this, quality measures are developed, typically through evidence-based research that points to a specific treatment, procedure, or drug as the clinical standard of care for a disease or condition. This research (often in the form of clinical trials) underpins much of what is practiced in medicine, providing critical information that helps the field determine the most effective treatments and approaches to helping patients.
Find out how health care data can be used to measure and improve the quality of health care that patients receive.
Although the Affordable Care Act now offers individuals greatly expanded access to health coverage, simply having an insurance card does not guarantee access to high-quality health care.
Effective medical treatment requires that physicians apply the best available evidence, rely on their clinical expertise, and consider individual patient preferences and values to make decisions about patient care. Yet across most areas of medicine, practice consistently lags behind evidence. Even when physicians have access to evidence in usable formats, like clinical practice guidelines, it can take more than five years for them to adopt these guidelines into routine clinical practice.
With the ongoing shift from volume to value in today’s health care environment, providers are increasingly focusing on the need to involve the patient at all points of the health care continuum. Increasingly, health insurance programs (public and private) and health care providers are adding patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures, in addition to the clinical aspects of measuring health and treatment options, to improve the quality and effectiveness of the care that patients receive.
Quality measurement uses data to evaluate the performance of health plans and providers. Learn how the health care field is using this data to measure and improve the quality of health care that patients receive.