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AHRQ Announces Surveys Aimed at Improving Provider Efficiency and Value

January 18, 2013—The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announced in the Jan. 7 Federal Register the development of value and efficiency (VE) surveys for hospitals and medical offices.

These surveys are aimed at identifying cost and waste in healthcare by measuring medical staff perceptions of “what attitudes and behaviors related to value and efficiency are supported, rewarded, and expected.” The survey results then will be used to help provider organizations develop a plan of action to improve efficiency and value.  AHRQ will work with staff from 42 hospitals and 96 medical offices to take part in developing the surveys.

In addition, AHRQ also will develop a “communicating about value checklist,” which will be used to help clinicians discuss the value of care with their patients. Value, according to AHRQ, not only should be measured in terms of patient outcomes and spending, but also should include care that is valuable and meaningful to the patient. AHRQ notes that patients who are more engaged with their physician tend to prefer less intensive and cheaper care.

AHRQ estimates that the three-year project will cost approximately $1 million, although it has not been approved yet by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Comments on the proposal are due by March 8.


Scott Wetzel, M.P.P.
Lead, Quality Reporting
Telephone: 202-828-0495


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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