NEWS

Health Care Transparency Advances in Wisconsin with New Hospital Quality Rating System

CheckPoint adds “star ratings” to hospital-specific quality measures 

MADISON (December 9, 2014) --- Wisconsin hospitals were among the first in the country to voluntarily publicly report information related to the quality, safety and cost of care in their organizations. Today, the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) released its latest version of CheckPoint, a web-based resource that provides hospital-specific quality and safety data related to the care that patients receive while in the hospital.

New to CheckPoint (www.WiCheckPoint.org) is a hospital-specific three-star quality rating system. The new rating system enables consumers to more quickly and easily interpret information related to hospital quality. The calculation that supports the system combines several individual, but related, quality measures into a single overall star rating to summarize the overall quality of care for a specific medical condition or service. Star ratings are displayed for conditions and procedures related to hip and knee surgery, heart conditions, pneumonia, surgery, patient satisfaction and 10 other dimensions of care.

Since 2004, CheckPoint has given consumers a snapshot of Wisconsin hospitals' performance in key areas. Today, 127 acute care Wisconsin hospitals and some specialty hospitals are publicly reporting data on more than 90 measures to the CheckPoint program. This information can be used to see how often each hospital provides recommended care for patients with certain conditions or the progress hospitals have made toward national patient safety goals. Consumers can use the information to compare how different hospitals perform, while hospitals can use the data to benchmark their progress toward national quality and safety goals.

“Public reporting has advanced and accelerated quality improvement in Wisconsin. It is certainly a factor in Wisconsin being consistently ranked as one of the top states in the country based on the quality of our health care,” according to WHA Chief Quality Officer Kelly Court. “The information on CheckPoint helps consumers make informed decisions about their hospital care and engages Wisconsin hospitals in early quality improvement.”

Wisconsin hospitals have led the country in their willingness to share information on the cost, quality and safety of the care they provide in their communities, which has made the state a national model for health care transparency. Wisconsin hospitals also share cost-related information online at www.wiPricePoint.org.

"Wisconsin’s health care is an economic development asset and a good reason to do business in our state,” WHA Executive Vice President Eric Borgerding said. “As we focus on increasing quality and improving efficiency, we also see health care costs stabilizing. Quality is a key strategy used in our state to drive down health care costs, which is a benefit to our patients and employers.”

Data for the measures comes from multiple sources and is updated quarterly to ensure access to the most recent data available. Three other states currently work with WHA to support similar hospital quality public reporting programs in their states, including South Carolina, Utah and Wyoming.

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Mary Kay Grasmick, 608-274-1820