Measuring health quality is difficult and has been the center of a heated debate for the past few years. Measuring quality in health care is subjective because no two people are alike and the treatment of illness and disease is complicated and unique to each individual. Both hospitals and providers who accept Medicare are paid based on quality which has caused the debate to intensify.
The Missouri Hospital Association recently shared the results of a new study from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The study shows that Americans do not believe information on the quality of health care providers is easy to find, and they also lack trust in information sources that produce such indicators.
The report further states that there is a disconnect between how experts and consumers define what being a quality health provider means. Most Americans focus on the patient-doctor relationship. The report indicates that the most important factor in determining a “high quality” doctor for Americans is how well the physician listens and accuracy of the diagnosis. Topping the list of what makes a “poor quality” doctor is if the doctor does not listen and does not spend time with patients. In addition, when Americans are choosing a doctor or other health care provider, the most important component is if their insurance is accepted, followed by experience of services and the impression they get in face-to-face meetings.