In the next few weeks we will release our yearly update of our QualityCounts® Inpatient Hospital Report. As with previous reports, it provides cost and quality information on the hospitals that participate with The Alliance. We continue to see variation in cost and quality. Here are a few headlines:

Quality varies.

  • In the category of Overall Care, the risk-adjusted death rate was just over 9 times higher at the poorest performing hospital than at the best performing hospital.

Cost varies.

  • In the category of Overall Care, after adjusting for how sick a hospital’s patients were, the cost to Alliance members for a typical hospital stay was $10,600 more at the highest cost hospital than at the lowest cost hospital.

What you pay is not related to the quality of your care.

  • A hospital that provides high-quality care does not necessarily cost more. For heart bypass surgery the only hospital that was rated “better than expected” in mortality is one of the low-cost hospitals.
  • For two care areas, hip and knee surgery and back and neck surgery, we did not find a significant difference in quality, yet some hospitals cost twice as much as the lowest cost hospitals.

In the next few weeks we will be updating our website with the new report. We’ll send you an e-mail when this is done so you can notify individuals in your health plan that the report has been updated. We’ll also include links to tools on our updated member site that can help you promote the report and its use to those on your health plan.

Alliance staff is also available to help benefits staff understand and use the report and educate employees about QualityCounts® through education sessions. For more information, or to schedule a session, contact Bobbi Jones, product management specialist, or 800.223.4139 x 6638.

Cheryl DeMars

Cheryl DeMars

President & CEO at The Alliance
Cheryl DeMars joined The Alliance in 1992, assuming several roles before becoming CEO in December 2006. Cheryl works with the Board of Directors and senior leadership team to establish the strategic direction of the cooperative.

Cheryl participates in a number of national and regional initiatives that align with The Alliance’s mission of controlling costs, improving quality and engaging individuals in their health. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the board of the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality.

Prior to joining The Alliance, Cheryl was a program manager at Meriter Hospital in Madison. She earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Cheryl DeMars