KCUR News
4:42 pm
Tue March 2, 2010

Assessing Quality: Website Compares Area Medical Practices

Kansas City, Mo. – Kansas City residents can compare the quality of area medical practices online now.

A local initiative known as the Kansas City Quality Improvement Consortium assessed claims data from the region's six largest insurance plans as well as Medicare. The result is a consumer friendly website that evaluates more than 250 primary care practices in areas like asthma care, diabetes maintenance, and children's health. Patient satisfaction surveys are also included.

Cathy Davis is Executive Director of the consortium. She says she hopes making such data publicly available for the first time will help doctors improve the care they provide. But she says the responsibility doesn't fall entirely on them.

"We have to impress that it's a patient-physician partnership," says Davis. "That if your physician says, 'you know, you really need to go get an eye exam.' Well, a primary care physician doesn't do an eye exam, but a primary care physician needs to know about that eye exam. So, do you make sure your physician knows you've gotten that eye exam and he has documentation of it?"

Davis says the data shows that the overall quality of primary care in the region is pretty good. Women's health care ratings were especially strong compared to national trends, but treating depression fell below average.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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