Healthcare Quarterly 1(3) March 1998 : 39-41.doi:10.12927/hcq..16746
Recent healthcare cost-control efforts in the United States have focused on the introduction of competition into the healthcare system. This has lead to the development of managed care plans that compete for patients based on price, quality, and scope of services. The assumption underlying any competitive system is that patients will select providers, at least in part, on the basis of price and quality. In order for competition to be effective, sufficient information about the cost and quality of different providers must be available to patients (consumers) for them to make informed and effective choices. Thus, as managed care has expanded, the importance of information about provider performance has increased. As a result, many states have established health data agencies that are responsible for the public dissemination of information on provider performance.
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