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ANDERSEN CONSULTING SAYS KAISER PERMANENTE REPORT CARD POINTS THE WAY TO 'INFORMATION REVOLUTION,' IN HEALTHCARE

 /ADVANCE/SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- "The new report card on healthcare outcomes unveiled by Kaiser Permanente of Northern California is a crucial step toward making quality improvement a major factor in healthcare reform," said James B. Hudak, partner with Andersen Consulting which helped Kaiser Permanente develop the report card.
 Speaking at Kaiser Permanente's announcement of the report card, Hudak said Kaiser Permanente's report card is the first that is both comprehensive enough -- and specific enough -- to respond effectively to President Clinton's call for a national report card on healthcare quality.
 Hudak also said that the report card points the way to an "information revolution" that can enhance both providers' ability to improve the quality of care, and consumers' ability to choose what healthcare plan is best for them.
 "Until now, when consumers have made decisions about different healthcare plans, they have had hard data only about the different costs of each provider," Hudak stated. "Information has not been available about the quality of care of different healthcare plans. As a result, consumers have needed to rely on anecdote or word of mouth."
 But with more than 100 performance measures across eight major categories of healthcare, Hudak stated, the new report card provides a broader array of information about Kaiser Permanente's quality than has ever been compiled before for any healthcare provider.
 "Consumers don't come to healthcare providers with just one need," Hudak said. "They come with many sets of needs -- often very complex needs."
 With "more measures across more dimensions than ever before," Hudak said, the Kaiser Permanente report card "covers the wide array of healthcare needs that people deal with in the real world -- everything from diabetes to heart disease to cancer to family care."
 Not only consumers, but also providers themselves, will be helped by Kaiser Permanente's wide array of measures, Hudak said, calling it "the first report card that has the breadth and depth to provide the framework for a national standard."
 Making it a national standard, however, will require an "information revolution" in the healthcare industry, Hudak stated. Most of the industry's largest databases he pointed out, have historically focused on insurance claims rather than "what healthcare providers actually do, and how it can improve health outcomes for whole populations of people."
 "Providers must create new information systems that collect and manage information on healthcare quality," Hudak stated. "And working cooperatively, we must create a new national infrastructure that allows providers to compare their results with those of other providers ... and to be compared as well.
 "The nation's `electronic superhighway' needs a healthcare on-ramp," Hudak said, "and providers, insurers and purchasers must work cooperatively to build one." Andersen Consulting, he concluded, intends to be in the forefront of the "information revolution" in healthcare, "helping providers develop the required new systems, and helping the nation develop an infrastructure to link them."
 Andersen Consulting helped to develop the quality report card in collaboration with physicians, epidemiologists, statisticians and administrators from Kaiser Permanente, Northern California region. Andersen Consulting's role also included helping to develop a quality assessment framework and finding appropriate benchmarks to measure Kaiser Permanente's outcomes against.
 Andersen Consulting is a global management and technology organization that provides strategic, systems integration, business process management and change management services to its clients through more than 26,000 professionals in 151 offices throughout 47 countries. Its more than 700 healthcare-specific professionals serve more than 200 major clients worldwide, including large hospitals, multihospital systems, clinics, health insurance providers and managed care organizations.
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 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Andersen Consulting is not a division of accounting firm Arthur Andersen.
 Interviews are available with James B. Hudak, partner; Robert S. Rebitzer, manager; and David A. Rey, managing partner, healthcare industry, all of Andersen Consulting./
 /CONTACT: Marya S. Witt of Andersen Consulting, 312-507-5663, or Pete Judice of Burson-Marsteller, 212-614-4506/


CO: Andersen Consulting; Kaiser Permanente ST: California IN: HEA SU:

CK-MP -- NY054 -- 6808 10/26/93 13:10 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 26, 1993
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