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Annu Rev Public Health. 2006;27:517-36.

Public reporting of provider performance: can its impact be made greater?

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  • 1Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine, Institute of Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.


Public reporting of provider performance is becoming increasingly commonplace. In this chapter, we first review studies of prior public reports (or report cards) that show real but small impact on provider attempts to improve quality, on consumers' impressions of providers, and even on consumer selection of providers. Among other factors, two potential explanations for the low level of impact are that, in most early reports, the large majority of providers have been labeled "average" and consumers may have had difficulty understanding the statistical assessments. In response, some current report card producers are using or considering a variety of methods to increase the number of distinctions among providers and the ease of comprehension of the labels used. Therefore, we also consider the advantages and disadvantages of several novel approaches to analyzing and reporting provider performance.

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