Quality, Cost, and Outcomes
Cost, access, and quality are the cornerstones of health care delivery, and these issues are the focus of the ongoing debate regarding health care in the United States. We continue to try to find ways to control costs of health care through cost containment initiatives by the government, third-party payers, and employers, and we continue to try to expand access to services. In addition, an alarming rise in medical errors, there is also aa growing focus on quality improvement and safety.
|To scroll the timeline, click the bottom arrows or click and drag the timeline area. Click each event for more details.|
How do we compare to other countries? The United States has some of the highest costs and unequal access, with only average health outcomes. The graphic below is from The Commonwealth Fund's 2014 report on comparative performance of international health systems.
After successfully completing this module, you will be able to:
- Define price transparency and explain its relationship to cost sharing.
- Define quality measure and categorize examples as structure, process or outcome.
- Distinguish between the roles of the federal and state governments in health policy with examples.
- Identify and describe the two types of Medicare approaches to improving hospital quality
- Examine the negative financial incentive of DRGs for hospital payment and critique the three ACA Medicare initiatives to improve both quality and efficiency.
- Describe two hospital initiatives designed to improve care transitions at discharge.