To advance its goal of a high performance U.S. health care system, The Commonwealth Fund gathers and disseminates evidence of excellence in health care from across the country and the world. This work is intended to show what is possible to achieve, and to stimulate health care providers, policymakers, and stakeholders to take action to improve performance in all facets of care.
The Fund’s capacity for Health System Performance Assessment and Tracking enables it to:
The Fund’s Health System Performance Assessment and Tracking activities are closely coordinated with Fund initiatives in Delivery System Innovation and Improvement, Health Reform Policy, and International Health Policy and Innovation.
Health system performance scorecards. Since 2006, The Commonwealth Fund and its Commission on a High Performance Health System have tracked the performance of U.S. health care through a series of national, state, and, starting in 2012, local scorecards. The National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance (2006, 2008, and 2011), focuses on health care outcomes, quality, access, efficiency, and equity and compares U.S. average performance to benchmarks set within the U.S. and internationally. The State Scorecard on Health System Performance (2007 and 2009) assesses states’ performance on health care relative to achievable benchmarks for 38 indicators of access, quality, avoidable hospital use/costs, and health outcomes, and the potential gain if each state reached levels of performance achieved by leading state. The Scorecard on Local Health System Performance (2012) examines performance of 306 local areas across 43 indicators related to access, prevention and treatment, potentially avoidable hospital use and cost, and healthy lives. This scorecard enables comparison of performance within and across states. Profiles, that compare each area to benchmarks set by top performing communities, and data are available on an interactive map on the Fund Web site.
The State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports (2011) assesses performance of nursing homes, home health agencies, and state programs across four dimensions: access and affordability, choice of setting and provider, quality of life and quality of care, and support for family caregivers.
The State Scorecard on Child Health System Performance (2011) examines states’ performance on 20 key indicators of children’s health care access, health system equity, affordability of care, prevention and treatment, and the potential to lead healthy lives.
WhyNotTheBest.org. Nearly 7,500 hospital executives, quality improvement professionals, medical directors, and others use The Commonwealth Fund’s online resource for health care quality benchmarking, WhyNotTheBest.org, to compare their organization’s performance against peers, learn from case studies of top performers, and access innovative improvement tools. With an array of custom benchmarks available, users can compare their organization’s performance to the leaders and to national and state averages.
Surveys. The Fund conducts a wide range of surveys, both in the United States and abroad, to monitor trends in health care access and affordability, the delivery of patient-centered coordinated care, and the spread of health information technology with information exchange in physician practices. Fund surveys also explore public views on health care matters, and assess the policy perspectives of health care leaders. Recent and ongoing surveys include:
To access all Fund surveys, visit Surveys at commonwealthfund.org.
Multinational comparisons of health system data. Comparing the health care system in the United States with the systems of other industrialized countries reveals striking differences in spending, availability and use of services, and health outcomes. Each year, the Fund produces a chartbook depicting key health data for the 30 member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), as well as analyses based on those data. Visit the Fund’s online International Health Policy Center for more information.
State Trends in Private Insurance Premium and Deductibles (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012). The Commonwealth Fund also produces an annual report that tracks employer-sponsored health insurance plan costs and benefits in each state. The report focuses on premiums, employee shares of premiums, and plan deductibles. The newest analysis, released in December 2012, covers the period 2003 to 2011. An accompanying data brief focuses on insurance cost trends in major metropolitan areas.