Evaluating the Quality of Quality Improvement Claims: The Population Health Impact Institute – Brian Klepper

Thomas Wilson PhD is on a mission that’s important to health care. Tom, a respected epidemiologist particularly well-known in disease management circles, founded the Population Health Impact Institute (PHII), a not-for-profit devoted to establishing clear, objective rules to evaluate claims of financial and clinical improvement associated with health management programs.

In an August 16th press release, PHII announced its intention to develop a new accreditation program that

“will focus on the methods behind the claims.  It will be based on the established evaluation principles of transparency and scientific validity successfully used by the PHII since its founding in 2004:

  • Transparency of metrics,
  • Equivalence of populations,
  • Statistical significance of measures,
  • Plausibility of hypotheses, and
  • Disclosures of potential conflicts-of-interest.”

This isn’t a lightweight effort. To oversee the development of their "Quality Evaluation Process” (QEP) standards will be developed by a volunteer panel of national experts, and chaired by former URAC President and CEO Garry Carneal, who oversaw the development of 16 new accreditation programs during his tenure with that quality accreditation organization.

PHII also boasts the participation and support of Sean Sullivan, the CEO of the not-for-profit large employer group, The Institute for Health and Productivity Management. Sean has been an extremely balanced and important voice on health care reform. His group argues that it is in employers’ interests to stabilize and improve health care quality and costs, because employees and families with good health care produce are far more productive. The opposite is true as well.

PHII is looking for expert volunteers for its standards panel. Visit the site of this important effort and consider whether you or your organization might have a way to contribute expertise, financial resources or both.

By way of disclosure, I sit on PHII’s Steering Committee.

2 replies »

  1. I seem to be the only one in my organization that is concerned about potential conflict-of-interest when the staff person who is exclusively responsible for the QI program is also responsible for facilitating ALL strategic planning for the organization including ALL planning activities with staff, board members and executive management.
    How can one staff person who is responsible for monitoring/auditing/reviewing performance be objective when they also set up all the program/agency goals? No other staff are assigned to the developing/leading/facilitating the planning activities. The facilitator guides staff to the point of leading responses to the “interactive team process” questions.
    Is there not an inherent methodological bias if the performance goals are set up by the same staff person who audits the performance? Should there not be an effort within an organization to isolate the QI staff activities to keep them from over reaching and tainting the end result audit activities?