Identifying, Categorizing, and Evaluating Health Care Efficiency Measures

Published in: McGlynn, E. A. Identifying, Categorizing, and Evaluating Health Care Efficiency Measures. Final Report (prepared by the Southern California Evidence-based Practice Center--RAND Corporation, under Contract No. 282-00-0005-21). AHRQ Publication No. 08-0030. (Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Apr. 2008), 214 p

by Elizabeth A. McGlynn, Paul G. Shekelle, Susan Chen, Dana P. Goldman, John A. Romley, Peter S. Hussey, Han de Vries, Margaret C. Wang, Martha J. Timmer, Jason Carter, et al.

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The measurement of health care efficiency has lagged behind the measurement of health care quality. Providers, payers, purchasers, consumers, and regulators all could benefit from more information on value for money in health care. Purchasers, particularly large employers, have been demanding that health plans incorporate economic profiling into their products and information packages. Despite the importance, there has not been a systematic and rigorous process in place to develop and improve efficiency measurement as there has been for other domains of performance. Recognizing the importance of improving efficiency measurement, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has sponsored this systematic review and analysis of available measures. Our work was designed to reach a wide variety of stakeholders, each of which faces different pressures and values in the selection and application of efficiency measures. Thus, we anticipate that some sections of the report will be less useful to some readers than others. This report should be viewed as the first of several steps that are necessary to create agreement among stakeholders about the adequacy of tools to measure efficiency.

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