U.S. Health Care Reform Can’t Wait for Quality Measures to Be Perfect

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U.S. Health Care Reform Can’t Wait for Quality Measures to Be Perfect (Harvard Business Review)

This op-ed from four healthcare leaders highlights the debate between moving quickly on the move to value-based care or putting the brakes on it, and poses the opinion that there shouldn't be any delay in payment reform for three reasons:

  1. Quality improvement must have metrics and transparency, even if imperfect, to affect true system change. “Current quality measures may have rough edges, but stakeholders have worked hard to steadily improve their validity and reliability…[we] must work with forward-thinking colleagues in the health care system to continually improve the measures that publicly signal value.”
  2. “Using measures improves measurement” meaning that flawed systems only improve when we implement ever-improving metrics that bring light to “long-neglected weaknesses in data-quality control.”
  3. Fee-for-service approaches create “waste, heavy costs, and quality-of-care issues” and “the fact that there are rough spots on the road to value-based payment is hardly a justification for slowing down reform.”


The authors call for tenacity and patience as the US moves towards value-based payment systems, and notes that “if converting to a more sensible payment system were easy, it would have been done a long time ago.”

Value-based care and practice transformation are at the heart of the Delaware Center for Health Innovation’s (DCHI) efforts towards making Delaware one of the top five healthiest states in the nation. With the goals of being in top 10% of states in health care quality and patient experience, bringing the growth of health care costs in line with GDP growth, and improving the provider experience, DCHI is working in conjunction with public and private stakeholders to advance value-based outcomes in the Delaware by 2020. For more information please visit us at https://www.dehealthinnovation.org/.

Articles posted do not reflect the views or opinion of DCHI, but are meant to foster meaningful discussion about the opportunities and challenges driving healthcare reform.  


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