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Invited Commentary
January 2014

Hospital Quality: Does Past Performance Predict Future Performance?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, New York
  • 2RAND Health, RAND, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3Department of Surgery, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Colchester
  • 4RAND Health, RAND, Washington, DC
JAMA Surg. 2014;149(1):16-17. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2013.4143

More than 10 years after the Institute of Medicine told Americans that medical errors are the eighth leading cause of death in this country,1 the federal government, third-party payers, and patients are no longer hoping that hospitals and physicians will build a safer health system—they are demanding it. And, they want safer and better care at a price that will not put a stranglehold on our nation’s economic development and stability.2 To achieve this, the federal government is incentivizing high-quality care by replacing the current volume-based quality-blind payment system with value-based purchasing,3 which ties payment to quality and patient outcomes.