More Massachusetts health care quality data

More Massachusetts health care quality data

Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP) has released data on the quality of primary care in Massachusetts. The organization rates the performance of 150 primary care physician groups on a variety of measures, according to the Boston Globe (Bay State doctors rated among best.)

The new measures on doctors’ groups evaluate how frequently doctors prescribed or provided 15 recommended tests and treatments, including whether women are tested regularly for breast cancer, cervical cancer, and chlamydia; whether patients with depression or asthma receive appropriate medications; and whether patients with diabetes and heart disease are tested to make sure their conditions don’t worsen.

The MHQP data has a number of advantages:

  • The data is benchmarked against state and national averages
  • Physicians were able to review the data before it was posted –providing them an opportunity to comment and to start making improvements
  • The measures are well accepted
  • The usability of the MHQP website has been upgraded dramatically

There is still work to be done. In particular the information is for primary care only, and at the group rather than the individual physician level. That will change, but it will take a while. Everyone wants specialist data and some organizations are providing it –yet the existing measures have serious drawbacks that limit their usefulness and cause physicians to object. No individual physician data is being released –partly due to inadequate sample size issues and partly so as not to antagonize physicians.

MHQP is taking a deliberate approach of gradually analyzing and releasing more specific data based on proven methodologies and a consensus oriented information.

I checked out my physician group –turns out they are quite highly rated.

February 11, 2006

One thought on “More Massachusetts health care quality data”

  1. I think I’m gonna be sick.

    I just visited MHQP’s web site and checked out their rating system for pediatric care.

    It turns out that quality of care is equated with number of well-child visits.

    The only group in my area rated ranked very highly for infants and children and less well for adolescents.

    Big freakin’ deal.

    For pediatrics, Quality = Quantity.

    Does this merely confirm my suspicion that pediatrics is such a small piece of the pie that beancounters such as MHQP are just going through the motions with us?

    best,

    Flea

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