Quality Reporting by Payers: A Mixed-Methods Study of Provider Perspectives and Practices

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Background:Providers need timely, clinically meaningful, and actionable information to improve quality of care. Payers may play an important role in providing such information in ambulatory care settings. We sought to learn about providers' use and perceptions of quality reports from insurers.Methods:We employed a mixed-methods study design. We analyzed the performance of 118 provider groups on 21 HEDIS measures included in one New England insurer's quality reporting program and evaluated how a subset of provider groups (n = 55) accessed the reports. We also conducted 14 semistructured interviews with providers and administrators to assess their perspectives about quality reports from insurers in general.Results:Performance on quality measures varied greatly across provider groups and by metric. Only 20% of provider groups accessed the quality reports during the study period. While providers reported that payer information on quality has the potential to be useful, respondents suggested important reasons why insurer quality reports were not widely accessed, including information overload, conflicts with other sources of information, and the significant provider effort required to make the reports actionable.Conclusions:Payer-provider collaborations are needed to improve the usefulness of payers' quality measurement reports, and coordination among payers is needed to streamline reported measures.

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