Snake-bites, and other quality data…

Thanks to The Health Care Blog for spotlighting the following AP headline:

Snake in Hospital Gurney Kills Thai Man

That’s a different type of hospital infection than what we have here in California, but it’s a good reminder: hospital infections not only impact the patient, but they also are significant contributor to health costs.

My colleagues at Consumers Union, as well as others like the Pacific Business Group on Health, are particularly excited about the new section of AB8(Nunez) to facilitate the transparency of health care costs and quality, such as hospital infection rates.

Performance information is an essential foundation for quality improvement and cost containment. What gets measured and publicly reported gets improved. While there is some voluntary reporting of health care quality and costs, the data are inconsistent, incomplete, hard to compare, and often kept secret.

The ability of a single state entity to collect this data, and provide reliable, consistent, and comparable reports, would do wonders, for both improving the quality and addressing the cost of health care.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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