Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality: Launches 2005 Performance & Progress Report

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Katie Ostrander, (414) 270-3000 ext., 231

New Online Report Contains More Data from More Members

MILWAUKEE (April 7, 2005) – The Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ) released its 2005 Performance & Progress Report today. The Web-based report includes data on 45 measures from
19 hospitals, 14 multi-specialty physician groups and seven health plans from across the state.

“With this report, we are delivering on our commitment to create more robust measures and expand the number of healthcare providers reporting data,” said John S. Toussaint, MD, WCHQ’s chairman and president/CEO of Appleton-based ThedaCare. “We have included 10 new measures and added 12 hospitals, eight physician groups and three health plans.”

New Measures

The Report contains five unique clinic-based diabetes measures. The new measures are a refinement of the health plan measures included in the 2003 Report. They provide a clearer picture of the performance of individual physician groups rather than a composite of all physicians from different groups who treat patients within a particular health plan. The report is available online at http://www.wchq.org.

“These new physician clinic measures are the first of their kind to provide an ‘apples-to-apples’ comparison between health systems,” said Leo Brideau, WCHQ board member and president and CEO, Columbia St. Mary’s. “Comparing our performance on these measures helps us identify opportunities to improve the care we provide to our patients.”

In future reports, WCHQ will be reporting additional clinic-based measures on conditions such as heart care and women’s health.

“Publishing new measures is an important step toward giving employers the information they need to make informed healthcare purchasing decisions,” said Chris Queram, WCHQ board member and CEO of the Alliance, an employer-owned and directed healthcare purchasing group.

New Members

The 2005 Report also includes data from competing providers in the same market. Multiple providers in the Fox Valley, Green Bay, Eau Claire, LaCrosse, Madison, Milwaukee and the Marshfield/Wausau area are reporting data.

“The Collaborative provides a forum for competing providers to work together to improve the overall quality of care for everyone,” said Jeffrey Grossman, MD, WCHQ board member and president/CEO of UW Health Physicians. “When we gather and publish accurate and useful data, we help each other drive quality improvement activities within our own organizations.”

For the new member organizations, the 2005 Report will provide a baseline to measure future improvements.
“The current Performance & Progress Report provides a snapshot of the quality of care in a few important areas of healthcare delivery in our communities,” said Mark Wiest, MD, WCHQ board member and chief medical officer, Prevea Health Services, Green Bay.

“As we report more data over the next few years, we will have a more useful, accurate overview of our performance for ourselves and our patients, Robert Nesse, WCHQ board member, and president and CEO, Franciscan Skemp – Mayo Health System, La Crosse.”

The Collaborative’s business partners are encouraging other healthcare providers in the state to join the Collaborative.

“We applaud WCHQ’s efforts to develop and share useful, comparative healthcare data,” said Ron Dix, WCHQ board member and senior vice president–Administration, BadgerMeter, Inc. “Broad participation from healthcare organizations is vital to developing a purchasing model based on value. We strongly encourage all other Wisconsin healthcare providers to join WCHQ.”

Web-Based Reports

The new Report is available through a redesigned Web site, which is sponsored by WEA Trust. The new site has a number of benefits, including:
– The ability to sort and compare data by region

– The ability to review trend data that allows users to see changes in a provider’s data over time

– More supporting information about the measures and a new glossary of terms

– Reports that are integrated into the site, rather than displaying in a separate “pop-up” window

“Public reporting of healthcare quality measures to consumers is a vital step in creating an open and equitable healthcare marketplace,” said Al Jacobs, executive director, WEA Trust. “That is why the WEA Trust fully supports WCHQ in its effort to educate the public about the value of measuring healthcare quality and using that information to make better purchasing decisions.”

Next Steps

Throughout 2005, WCHQ will be publishing quarterly data updates for some hospital-based measures. In addition, WCHQ will continue its work to develop and publish data on additional clinic-based measures similar to the new diabetes measures included in the 2005 Report.

The Collaborative hopes to develop efficiency measures for hospitals and clinics that go beyond the reporting of charges, and provide fair comparisons between organizations. To accomplish this, WCHQ is looking for ways to appropriately adjust the measures for teaching organizations, different charge structures and severity levels of patients. In 2005, WCHQ will continue to work to develop a preliminary measure and report regularly on its progress. However, due to its complexity, a final measure may not be available for several years.

“We still hope to develop truly meaningful efficiency measures that go beyond the charge data that currently is available,” said William D. Petasnick, chief executive officer of Milwaukee-based Froedtert & Community Health. “However, this is a difficult, complicated task. As a group we are committed to developing credible measures that are easily understood and meaningful to our patients and business partners.”

“To achieve our ultimate goal of a robust, meaningful efficiency measure, we will need to develop a statewide insurance claims data repository,” said Toussaint. “We are working to identify the structure and the funding necessary to support such a project, and will be reporting regularly on our progress.”

In 2003, WCHQ published its inaugural Performance & Progress Report, which included quality and cost data for 42 initial measures. The measures are based on the Institute of Medicine’s Six Aims for Improvement, including Timeliness, Efficiency, Patient-Centeredness, Effectiveness, Safety and Equity.

The Collaborative’s Performance & Progress Report is the first:

– To engage business and labor partners in developing useful measures
– To learn from the quality improvement experience of our business and labor partners
– To measure care in the clinic and hospital setting

The Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality is a group of multi-specialty physician groups, hospitals, health plans, employers and labor organizations from geographically diverse areas of the state that have come together to develop and share best practices and quality outcomes. The Collaborative was founded in 2003 on the principle that by focusing on improving quality, better care for patients and more rational costs will result.

Collaborative participants are: Advanced Healthcare, Milwaukee; Affinity Medical Group, Oshkosh; Aspirus Wausau Hospital, Wausau; Bellin Health, Green Bay; Columbia St. Mary’s, Milwaukee; Dean Health System, Madison; Franciscan Skemp Healthcare, La Crosse; Froedtert & Community Health, Milwaukee; Gundersen Lutheran, La Crosse; Luther Midelfort, Eau Claire; Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield; Medical Associates Health Centers, Menomonee Falls; Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Meriter Hospital & Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation, Madison; Prevea Health Services, Green Bay; Sacred Heart Hospital; Eau Claire; Saint Joseph’s Hospital, Marshfield; St. Marys Hospital Medical Center, Madison; ThedaCare, Appleton; University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics, Madison; and University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation, Madison.

Business partners include The Alliance, Appleton Ideas, Badger Meter, Inc., DaimlerChrysler Corp., GE Healthcare, Schneider National, Sentry Insurance, Serigraph, Inc., The Trane Company, United Auto Workers and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.