Dr. Marty Makary on the future of health care transparency

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Dr. Marty Makary on the future of health care transparency

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | March 21, 2013
From the March 2013 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

More metrics

Even Consumer Reports bases its hospital ratings on only a handful of categories. But Makary thinks the number of metrics analyzed for hospital rankings is going to grow. “I think we’re going to see us moving from a few metrics, to dozens of metrics which will be condensed into easy ways for the public to look up hospital performance around specific (procedures), like delivering a baby,” he says. “I think some basic (metrics) that we have ready to make public but are not public are hospital volumes – for instance, which hospital treats 50 patients of Lyme disease a year, and which one treats one Lyme disease (case) a year? That’s information that’s very useful for someone seeking medical care for Lyme disease.”

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New generation, new expectations

Tomorrow’s doctors and patients will have grown up with instant Web access to everything from professor evaluations to which apartment buildings have been sprayed recently for bed bugs. “The new generation of folks out there, not just in medicine, the generation as a group, expects transparency in every aspect of their lives,” Makary says. “They expect transparency of corporations, the White House, Wall Street – they expect transparency in their education with their grades, so I think increasingly we’re seeing that expectation of transparency permeate medicine through this younger generation. Of course there are many champions of the cause that are part of the old guard as well, but there’s definitely a different expectation level among (younger) groups.”

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