HHS Launches New Web-Based Tool to Measure Performance of Health Care System

Some of the Health System performance measures found on the new Health System Measurement Project website

In a news release issued May 15, 2012, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced the launch of the Health System Measurement Project, a new web-based tool which will allow policymakers, providers, and the public to measure and track how the U.S. Health Care system is performing.

“The Health System Measurement Project tracks government data on critical U.S. health system indicators. The website presents national trend data as well as detailed views broken out by population characteristics such as age, sex, income level, and insurance coverage status,” according to a statement appearing on the website maintained by HHS for the Health System Information Project at: HealthMeasures.aspe.hhs.gov.

“Gathering this information together in one place—and presenting it in a format that’s accessible and easy to navigate—not only makes data easier to understand, but it’s part of the Obama administration’s commitment to transparency and accountability,” HHS said in a blog post about the new tool.

”I am pleased that this tool will allow people to have better access to data about our health care system,” Secretary Sebelius said in the HHS news release. “Ensuring all Americans have access to these data is an important way to make our health care system more open and transparent.”

The tool will allow users “to develop consistent data-driven views of changes in critical U.S. health system indicators,” HHS said in its release.

“The Health System Measurement Project brings together datasets from across the federal government that span topical areas, such as access to care, cost and affordability, prevention and health information technology. It presents these indicators by population characteristics, such as age, sex, income level, insurance coverage, and geography,” HHS said.

“Using the Measurement Project, one can quickly view data on a given topical area from multiple sources, compare trends across measures and compare national trends with those at the state and regional level. For example, an individual could use the Measurement Project to monitor the percentage of people who have a specific source of ongoing medical care or track avoidable hospitalizations for adults and children by region or ethnic group,” according to HHS.

The measures are drawn primarily from existing publicly available datasets. The tool contains information on how the measures were calculated and provides users with direct links back to the original data sources.

“Users of the site can search for information on health care topics they’re interested in and find regional or national-level data broken down by age, income level, and insurance coverage status,” HHS said in a blog post on May 15, posted on the Health Care Blog maintained by HHS on HealthCare.gov.

“The Measurement Project also makes it easy for site users to find information that relates to specific portions of the Affordable Care Act. For example, someone viewing the site could use the web tool to look at data by age group, making it easy to see the effects of allowing children up to age 26 to gain coverage through their parents’ health plan,” HHS wrote.

The measures included in the Health System Measurement Project, developed and selected by the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, are aligned with the HHS Strategic Plan and the National Quality Strategy, developed pursuant to and in implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

The Health System Measurement Project tool can be accessed online at: HealthMeasures.aspe.hhs.gov.

More Information

To view the HHS news release announcing the Health System Measurement Project, see http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2012pres/05/20120515c.html.

To access the Health System Measurement Project, go to HealthMeasures.aspe.hhs.gov, where you can also:

For more information about the Affordable Care Act, visit www.HealthCare.gov.

For news and information on health care policy and reform, see the HelpingYouCare™ resource pages on VoicesForCare™, including:

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Copyright © 2012 Care-Help LLC, publisher of HelpingYouCare™. All rights reserved.

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