Memo

CHA Withdraws Support for CHART
Memo sent to CHART Board

After thorough deliberation, the CHA Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to withdraw its endorsement of hospital participation in the California Hospital Assessment and Reporting Taskforce (CHART). 

We appreciate the diligent efforts of CHART and its stakeholder groups over the past 18 months to reshape the direction of CHART.  However, it has become increasingly apparent that the stakeholder groups are dissatisfied with aspects of CHART in its current form and have been unable to reach consensus on a future model.  At the last CHART Board meeting, there was a discussion of two possible future roles for CHART to pursue, but agreement could not be reached among the CHART Board members regarding an acceptable role for CHART.

CHA, through its Hospital Quality Committee, has made several proposals to CHART over the past 18 months concerning changes that are important to hospitals (e.g., reduce the administrative burden of multiple health plan requests for similar quality metrics; continue to improve and simplify hospital data-collection processes and requirements; avoid unnecessary reporting requirements; etc.).  The consumer groups, health plans and purchasers also put forward their visions to guide CHART; however, today we find CHART no closer to reaching a consensual plan for the future.

California hospitals remain steadfast in their support of transparency for valid quality and patient-safety measures that help improve care at the bedside and drive continuous improvement in hospitals.  Hospitals are committed to providing information to consumers that help them make informed decisions about their health care.

The inception of CHART represented a groundbreaking collaboration — one that endeavored to provide consumer-friendly public reporting of hospital quality data in an environment where this type of information was not readily available.  The Hospital Association of Southern California initiated the program that evolved into CHART for the primary purpose of establishing a universal standard for public reporting of hospital quality data, and envisioned that health plans would look to CHART for quality data as the primary source for their information needs.  These key objectives have not been realized.  In fact, higher resource cost and data-collection burdens have been placed on hospitals.  We acknowledge CHART’s accomplishments in facilitating standardized measurement, collection and submission formats for CHART measures, and recognize that the foundation laid by CHART will improve quality-reporting programs in the future.

With the acceleration of national health reform and the proliferation of publicly reported quality and patient-safety measures, consumers, health plans and payers now have a myriad of sources for hospital quality data.  California has become a state leader, largely through efforts of the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development and the California Department of Public Health, in public reporting of hospital quality and patient-safety metrics.  Additional initiatives are planned or underway by both of these departments.  Today, unlike when CHART published its first report card in March 2007, there are an abundance of publicly available quality and patient-safety measures for consumers, payers and purchasers of health care.  These reports come from state and federal agencies, health plans, private research groups and proprietary entities.

Based on CHA’s assessment of CHART’s minimal value to consumers, payers and hospitals, and in light of CHART’s inability to achieve a viable mutually agreed upon vision going forward, CHA cannot continue its endorsement or support of ongoing hospital participation in the program.

On behalf of CHA and its member hospitals, I would like to thank the CHART leadership, Board of Directors and staff for the work and dedication you have shown to CHART and public reporting.  California hospitals believe that CHART’s leadership during the developmental years of public reporting will enhance future transparency endeavors and improve public reporting systems. 

We look forward to working with you on areas of mutual interest in the future. If you have any questions, please contact Debby Rogers, CHA vice president, quality and emergency services, at (916) 552-7537 or drogers@calhospital.org.

Commands