Treatment Efficiency Measures Must Consider Quality Of Care, Cost

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Measures used to determine the efficiency of medical tests and procedures for heart disease and stroke must consider quality of care in addition to cost to determine the value of the services, according to a joint policy statement released recently by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, CQ HealthBeat reports.

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In the statement, which appeared in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the authors recommended consideration of four attributes: integration of quality and cost; valid cost measurement and analysis; minimal incentive to provide low-quality care; and proper attribution of the measures. The authors wrote, "Efficiency measures for public reporting should convey a balance of information about resource use and clinical performance or results, extending beyond a narrow focus on costs," adding, "The idea is to convey where low cost and high quality are achieved and also to provide a more complete perspective on performance in cost as it relates to quality."

Harlan Krumholz, chair of the group of authors that wrote the statement, said, "Properly designed public reporting programs will promote the provision of services that improve clinical outcomes while controlling or reducing costs," adding, "It is important for patients and policymakers to know whether practitioners and health care systems are delivering high quality, evidence-based health care at a reasonable cost" (Jha, CQ HealthBeat, 10/8).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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