The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association launched a hospital quality improvement program that stirred controversy among hospital leaders this spring over data-mining work performed by a subsidiary of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The pilot program will provide quarterly performance reports to hospitals and employers on 18 quality measurements using publicly available data from the JCAHO, the CMS and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Eighteen Blues plans, representing more than 80% of Blues subscribers, are participating. The JCAHO subsidiary, Joint Commission Resources, entered into a contract late last year to work on the pilot, merging data from the multiple sources and preparing hospital-specific reports. When the first reports reached hospitals in May, some hospitals criticized the JCAHO’s involvement without prior disclosure. JCAHO President Dennis O’Leary subsequently apologized.