According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll, most consumers did not see or use comparative health care quality information last year and believe it is difficult to get cost information about health care services. An updated examination of consumers' views on health care quality information reveals major challenges remain in providing the public with comparative quality information and encouraging its use.
The 2008 Update on Consumers' Views of Patient Safety and Quality Information finds that three in ten (30%) Americans say they have seen health care quality comparisons of health insurance plans, hospitals, or doctors in the past year. Not all people make health care choices or decisions in a given year that would call for the use of quality information, but this is a downward trend from surveys in 2006 (36%) and 2004 (35%) and roughly equivalent to the level in 2000 (27%). Further, just one in seven (14%) Americans report that they "saw" and "used" comparative health quality information for health insurance plans, hospitals, or doctors in the past year, again down from roughly one in five in both 2006 (20%) and 2004 (19%).
Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) 2008 Update on Consumers' Views of Patient Safety and Quality Information (Jul. 29-Aug. 6, 2008); KFF/Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) 2006 Update on Consumers' Views of Patient Safety and Quality Information (Aug. 3-8, 2006); KFF/AHRQ/Harvard School of Public Health National Survey on Consumers' Experiences with Patient Safety and Quality Information (Jul. 7-Sep. 5, 2004); KFF/AHRQ National Survey on Americans as Health Care Consumers: An Update on The Role of Quality Information (Jul. 31-Oct. 13, 2000); KFF/AHRQ Consumer Information Survey (Jul. 26-Sep. 5, 1996)
(SOURCE: Kaiser Family Foundation Press Release, www.kff.org, October 15, 2008)