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Health Care Financ Rev. 1996 Fall;18(1):75-94.

Comprehension of quality care indicators: differences among privately insured, publicly insured, and uninsured.

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Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management, University of Oregon, Eugene 97403, USA.


This study explores consumers' comprehension of quality indicators appearing in health care report cards. Content analyses of focus group transcripts show differences in understanding individual quality indicators and among three populations: privately insured; Medicaid; and uninsured. Several rounds of coding and analysis assess: the degree of comprehension; what important ideas are not understood; and what exactly is not understood about the indicator (inter-rater reliability exceeded 94 percent). Thus, this study is an educational diagnosis of the comprehension of currently disseminated quality indicators. Fifteen focus groups (5 per insurance type) were conducted with a total of 104 participants. Findings show that consumers with differing access to and experiences with care have different levels of comprehension. Indicators are not well understood and are interpreted in unintended ways. Implications and strategies for communicating and disseminating quality information are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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