Thursday, February 12, 2009

Panel Created to Help Consumers

An advisory panel has been created to help the Louisiana Department of Health implement the Louisiana Consumer’s Right to Know Act. The Act will give the state healthcare consumers expanded, web-based access to reliable information on the cost, quality, and performance of their healthcare providers and health plans.

The initiative is being led by Lucas Tramontozzi, a former analyst for Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, who is now a Program Manager in DHH’s Bureau of Policy, Research and Program Development in New Jersey.

The Act authorizes the Department to collect and publish a broad range of healthcare information on the Internet. The advisory panel created with representatives from consumer, technology, academic, and healthcare organizations, will advise on best practices in data collection, risk adjustment of the data to ensure appropriate comparisons, and decide on the best template for the web site.

Under the Act, DHH will create a web site that will publish key performance data on healthcare providers and health plans, including at a minimum death rates, readmission rates, dozens of nationally accepted quality and performance measures for health plans, complication rates for procedures, average costs for procedures, and the number of procedures a given provider has performed.