To determine if the release of health care report cards focused on physician practice quality measures leads to changes in consumers’ awareness and use of this information.
Data from two rounds of a survey of the chronically ill adult population conducted in 14 regions across the United States, combined with longitudinal information from a public reporting tracking database. Both data were collected as part of the evaluation for Aligning Forces for Quality, a nationwide quality improvement initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Using a longitudinal design and an individual‐level fixed effects modeling approach, we estimated the impact of community public reporting efforts, measured by the availability and applicability of physician quality reports, on consumers’ awareness and use of physician quality information ().
The baseline level of awareness was 12.6 percent in our study sample, drawn from the general population of chronically ill adults. Among those who were not aware of at the baseline, when became available in their communities for the first time, along with quality measures that are applicable to their specific chronic conditions, the likelihood of awareness increased by 3.8 percentage points. For the same group, we also find similar increases in the uses of linked to newly available physician report cards, although the magnitudes are smaller, between 2 and 3 percentage points.
Specific contents of physician report cards can be an important factor in consumers’ awareness and use of . Policies to improve awareness and use of may consider how to customize quality report cards and target specific groups of consumers in dissemination.