What We Do
The Puget Sound Health Alliance is where those who give, get, and pay for health care work together to improve health care value. We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to improving health care in the five counties─King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston─surrounding Puget Sound.
The Alliance focuses on four interconnected areas to drive change:
Performance Measurement and Public Reporting
Measuring variation in health care quality and cost and making variation across providers and plans transparent
Quality care is getting the care you and your family needs when you need it─no less and no more. To improve quality, the Alliance first measures and evaluates the actual performance of doctors and hospitals and then publishes publicly available reports that are designed to help consumers make good health care decisions. Our signature report, the online Community Checkup, evaluates and compares the performance of hospitals, clinics and medical groups in the Puget Sound region on measures of quality and appropriateness of care.
Using reports to change results and improve health care value
The Community Checkup shines a light on areas for improvement and enables learnings to be shared among health care providers. The Alliance is co-sponsoring with the Washington State Medical Association and the Washington Academy of Family Physicians a Clinical Practice Improvement Network to offer opportunities for medical practices to collaborate with one another, sharing best practices, proven innovations, tools, and resources to stimulate accelerated and efficient implementation into practice settings.
Helping consumers make informed decisions about their health care
One of the most powerful forces driving improvement in health care is the educated consumer. People who are engaged in their health care not only experience better outcomes but support the delivery of better care and services by providers, hospitals and health plans. The Alliance encourages people to demand quality health care and work closely with their providers when managing their own health care. It provides evidence-based toolkits and other health education resources for use by consumers, patients, employers and providers. These health education resources can help people partner with their providers and better manage their health and make better, more informed decisions about their health care.
Paying health care providers for value, not volume
Our fee-for-service health care system rewards providers for volume, not value. Paying health care providers for giving patients the right care at the right time in the right way will help reduce waste and drive sustainable, quality health care. The Alliance is co-sponsoring with the state of Washington a multi-payer, medical home reimbursement pilot designed to reduce use of emergency rooms and hospitals without compromising the quality of patient care.
There is Much More Work to Be Done
Thanks to the support of Alliance participants and the community, the Puget Sound Health Alliance has achieved some remarkable accomplishments in the five years since it was founded. As proud as we are of these achievements, we recognize that there is much more work to be done if we are to increase the quality and value of health care in the Puget Sound region.
Today’s complicated health care system will be experiencing much change over the next several years, but ultimately real change has to take place at the local level, by those who give, get and pay for care.
Recognizing the opportunities and challenges ahead, the Alliance’s strategy for the coming years will build upon our work so far and expand into new areas. Among the additional goals that we have set for ourselves are:
- Expanding the Community Checkup to include data about the cost of care and health care resource use;
- Educating consumers to base their health care decisions on value and quality;
- Educating employers, health plans and other health care purchasers about value-based benefit design;
- Identifying disparities in health by analyzing our data by race, ethnicity and language;
- Reporting on the experience patients’ have when they visit with their health care provider; and
- Incorporating medical data from patients’ electronic health records to enable reporting of health care outcomes.
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