Women's Health Quality Measures for Managed Care: What Do They Tell Us and Do Employers Listen?
June 21, 2000
Consumers, health plans and researchers all need information on quality. Consumers to make informed decisions, health plans to set benchmarks for improving care and researchers to identify model plans and programs. Dr. Carol Weisman argues that such information is key to improving the health care system and that much further work is needed.
Jon Gabel reported that his organization surveys the employers annually about their perceptions of health plan quality. The data indicates that employers do not select health care plans based on quality measures. Mr. Gabel theorized that since a typical employee only remains with a company 3-4 years, employers don't gain the long-term benefits of offering the best available health plans and have "limited loyalty to employees, even in high-paying, high-profile firms."
Both employers and consumers rely less on data on how a doctor adheres to standard clinical guidelines than they do on personal recommendations from friends, access to physicians, waiting times, paperwork, etc.
Both Dr. Weisman and Mr. Gabel called for more consumer education regarding health care quality measurement.
Carol S. Weisman, PhD, Professor, University of Michigan School of Public Health;
Jon Gabel, Vice President, Health Systems Studies, American Hospital Association/Health Research and Educational Trust