Yet More Evidence That Public Reporting of Outcomes is Without Benefit

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Hospital Compare Program added to its list of clinical process measures with mortality outcomes for three index conditions – pneumonia, heart attack, and heart failure. Across 3,970 hospitals (of sufficient size to participate) there was no improvement in mortality for the three index conditions when compared to non-index conditions. Mortality for both index and non-index conditions was declining gradually before they were added to the publically reported measures in 2008.[1] Far from an acceleration in the rate of decline post-2008, it actually slowed down. Our article on incentives suggested why public reporting is effete.[2]

— Richard Lilford, CLAHRC WM Director


  1. Joynt KE, Orav J, Zheng J, Jha AK. Public Reporting of Mortality Rates for Hospitalized Medicare Patients and Trends in Mortality for Reported Conditions. Ann Intern Med. 2016; 165: 153-60.
  2. Lilford RJ. Financial Incentives for Providers of Health Care: The Baggage Handler and the Intensive Care Physician. NIHR CLAHRC West Midlands News Blog. 25 July 2014.

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