ACHP: Consumers Need Better Information to Make Sound Health Care Choices

Statement in Reaction to Kaiser Family Foundation-Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality-Harvard School of Public Health Survey on Americans’ Perceptions About Health Care Quality

WASHINGTON, D.C. Jack Ebeler, president and CEO of the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP), issued the following statement today in reaction to the release of a new survey that examines Americans’ perceptions about health care quality:

“This survey confirms that most Americans do not believe our health care system is working to keep them well.

“These findings should not come as a surprise.  Meaningful measures of quality aren’t readily available to consumers.  When you shop for a car, there are hundreds of resources that put easy-to-understand comparative quality information at your fingertips.  Convenience usually drives health care decision making because quality information isn’t widespread.

“Only one-quarter of all Americans are covered by health plans that report quality data.  The lack of transparency in health care forces providers and patients to make critical decisions without all of the facts.  Publicly reporting quality data will empower patients to make informed choices and encourage plans and providers to improve their performance. 

“The Kaiser survey found that seven in ten Americans believe that publicly reporting medical errors would tell them ‘a lot’ about the quality of a hospital or health plan.  Patients are demanding and deserve a health care system where plans, providers and patient safety organizations come together to make meaningful measures of quality and service transparent and understandable to providers and the people they serve.”

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The Alliance of Community Health Plans brings together innovative health plans and provider organizations that are among America’s best at delivering affordable, high-quality coverage and care to their communities.  Drawing on years of experience, members collaborate to identify problems, share information and work toward solutions to some of health care’s biggest challenges.  Their work is the foundation for ACHP’s advocacy on behalf of better health care nationally.  More information is available at

Capital Health Plan; CareOregon; Excellus; Fallon Community Health Plan; Group Health Cooperative; Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin; Health Alliance Plan; HealthPartners; HIP; Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and the Permanente Federation; M•Plan; UCare Minnesota; UPMC Health Plan