by Adam Fox
Today, working with our partners at the Colorado Business Group on Health, we released the Colorado Hospital Value Report. We have known for a while that hospital charges and quality don’t necessarily match up – that is, higher charges don’t necessarily mean higher quality care – but this report illustrates that quite clearly. Comparing hospital charges to Medicare rates and pairing that with quality data, we see numerous hospitals throughout the state where higher charges do not equate to higher quality care. In fact, even within a hospital, we see a great deal of variation in quality for different procedures and categories of care. This variation in charges and quality is incredibly challenging for consumers and employers to navigate when purchasing an insurance plan or when accessing care. This report can be a tool to provide a little more transparency when looking at charges and quality for hospitals in your area. It also highlights opportunities for communities to start asking hard questions of their medical facilities, especially in those cases where charges or quality, or both, are out of line.