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Routine reports to the public on the quality of health care are one response to concerns about accountability. Public release of information on quality is intended to have two main effects: to facilitate informed choice and to stimulate quality improvement. The purpose of this chapter is to (1) describe the type of information that is currently being publicly released, (2) discuss some of the methodological issues that arise in producing information for public release, and (3) summarize what is known about the use of information on quality for consumer choice and quality improvement.

Originally published in: Changing the U.S. Health Care System: Key Issues in Health Services, Policy, and Management, second edition, R. M. Andersen, T. H. Rice, G. R. Kominski, eds., San Francisco, Calif. : Jossey-Bass Inc., 2001, Chapter 7, pp. 183-202.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.

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