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White Paper Abstract: With more health plans, hospitals and providers publishing quality and performance ratings, the discriminating consumer can evaluate a doctor or care center the same way they comparison-shop for cars and electronics. While the reporting of healthcare quality data is mostly voluntary for now, health plans, employers, consumers and even the federal government are leaning on healthcare providers to document the quality of the care they provide. The emerging trend among plans and payors, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), is to align financial incentives with improved results. The hope is that this strategy will enhance healthcare quality without increasing costs. In its February 2006 online survey, the Healthcare Intelligence Network polled hospitals and health plans on their performance data publishing practices and asked consumers to rate industry efforts.
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