Download the C-P Alliance message handbook, Improving Health Care Through Transparency and Performance Measurement, updated December 2014.


July 23, 2015
New Action Brief for Consumers and Purchaser: Patient-Reported Outcomes
In a new action brief, C-P Alliance Advisors Jennifer Eames Huff and David Hopkins explore the potential of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) to enhance the value of health care, highlight ongoing work to develop and implement these tools, and call consumers and purchasers to action. Read the action brief here and send your thoughts to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

December 2014
The C-P Alliance message handbook, Improving Health Care Through Transparency and Performance Measurement, offers consistent messaging about the importance of evaluating efforts to improve the quality and affordability of health care in America. Drawn from publically-available research, the handbook offers current as of publication date messages to be used in for writing talking points, speeches, letters, articles, presentations, or other communications. We will be regularly updating this message handbook with new information based on your feedback. Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  with messaging and evidence that you'd like to see included in our next edition.

July 25, 2013
The Results Are In: Promising Performance among Pioneer ACOs Despite Inevitable Challenges
In this Health Affairs blog, CP Alliance Co-Chairs reflect on the encouraging results from the first year of testing Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), including evidence of improved quality and reduced costs.

May 12, 2013
Hospital Readmissions Programs: Are they Working?
The Wall Street Journal published CP Alliance co-chair Bill Kramer’s letter on hospital readmissions in the Affordable Care Act. In the letter, he argued that a recent critique of Medicare’s hospital readmissions program overlooked that the program is working.

May 6, 2013
Setting the Framework for Pursuing Health Care Quality
The Consumer-Purchaser Alliance Co-Chair, Bill Kramer, completed an issue brief on health care quality, What Do We Say When We Talk About Health Care Quality? This publication sets the groundwork for a meaningful discussion on creating a parsimonious set of core measures that are meaningful and useful to providers, patients, health plans, and purchasers.

September 5, 2012
Explaining What Physician Compare Means to Consumers and Purchasers
CP Alliance completed an issue brief on the topic of CMS' Physician Compare website, "How Physician Compare Could Help Consumers." This publication explains how Physician Compare changes the field of information available on physician performance, how the website will roll-out, and recommendations for improvement.

August 22, 2012
Saving Lives and Dollars by Reducing Preventable Readmissions
Every year, Medicare spends about one-third of its budget on paying for hospital admissions. Reducing readmissions requires all stakeholders to work together, including hospitals, other healthcare providers, communities, and patients and their families. CP Alliance co-chairs Debra Ness and Bill Kramer explain where we have made progress, and how we can take the next steps in this blog post.

September 16, 2011
Setting Higher Standards To Advance Meaningful and Usable Measures of Performance
Consumers, purchasers, policy-makers, and other stakeholders seek improved quality and affordability in our health care system. A strong set of meaningful and usable performance measures is an essential tool in this pursuit, yet we do not have enough of these measures. In response, CP Alliance developed "Ten Criteria (10 Criteria) for Meaningful and Usable Measures of Performance," which lays out practical actions that those working in measurement can take to drive the development and implementation of robust performance measures. It includes recommendations on a dashboard of measures that provides a complete picture of care and how measures should be constructed to generate more valuable information.

September 15, 2011
Getting "Good Value" Health Care
David Hopkins, Ph.D., Senior Advisor to PBGH and CP Alliance joined community members in Humboldt County to launch Care About Your Care, a month-long effort to raise awareness about what consumers can do to identify and get better health care. In this presentation, Dr. Hopkins discusses the tenuous connection between cost and quality in our current health care system and explains how more care, and more expensive care isn't always better care. Dr. Hopkins offers practical advice for consumers, providers, health care leaders and community leaders about how they can improve the quality and affordability of health care in this country.

September 2011
Health Insurance Exchanges: Vision and Principles
How Exchanges are established will determine to what extent they become vehicles for improved quality, reduced costs, and expanded coverage. First, criteria used by exchanges can ensure that the individual and small group Exchange markets include only the highest value plans. Second, Exchanges can actively engage consumers and purchasers of care in plan selection by providing objective measurement information and tools for evaluating choices according to priorities. Third, Exchanges may mobilize its purchasing power to pull market levers, incentivize changes in provider and institutional behaviors, and improve value in the health care delivery system. To better inform its members, in September, CP Alliance developed "Health Insurance Exchanges: Vision and Principles," which lays out practical information on vision, governance, functions, quality improvement initiatives, consumer assistance tools, cost calculators, navigator program standards, small business health options program (SHOP) exchanges, and various other standards.

March 23, 2011
Advancing the Consumer and Purchaser Advocacy Agenda for Better Quality, More Affordable Care
In recognition of the first anniversary of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, we at CP Alliance believe it is important to reflect on our progress to date, thank our members for all their hard work, and consider the opportunities that lie ahead. To this end, we developed Advancing the Consumer and Purchaser Advocacy Agenda for Better Quality, More Affordable Care ("Timeline"), that highlights key CP Alliance accomplishments and resources, and identifies future opportunities for collaboratively building a high performing health care system. TheTimeline provides an overview of the major steps in health care reform implementation as well as numerous opportunities to advocate for improvements in quality measurement and payment reform. We hope that you will find the Timeline informative and inspirational: there is much work ahead of us and we look forward to your continued commitment, voice and partnership. It is updated on a regular basis; the most recent version is from February, 2013.

April 1, 2010
National health reform has now become law.
With the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act of 2010, the stage is set for health insurance coverage for most Americans, bending the cost curve, and improving care delivery. This bill is historic and, importantly for the efforts of CP Alliance, contains a wide array of provisions that have the potential to dramatically improve the quality and cost effectiveness of care in America. Click here for a summary of delivery and payment reform elements that were included in the legislation.

March, 2010
Meaningful Use of Health Information Technology
In coordination with its portfolio of advocacy and education tools to support consumers' and purchasers' work in Health Information Technology, CP Alliance developed Meaningful Use of Health Information Technology: What It Is and Why It Matters to Patients and Purchasers issue brief.

April 2009
Issue Brief: Historic Expansion of Quality Measurement in Medicaid and CHIP
On February 4, 2009, President Obama signed the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA), ensuring continued and potential expansion of health coverage for 11 million children through September 30, 2013. The continuation of the program is itself major news, but the act also included some very significant provisions to improve quality that will help advance the agenda for performance-based health reform. For the first time, states will be required to report annually to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the quality of health care that children are receiving in both Medicaid and CHIP. This issue brief describes the state of quality reporting in Medicaid and CHIP, including important a timeline of important dates for advocacy activities in this area.

February 2009
CMS Releases "Roadmaps" on Quality Measurement, Resource Utilization, and Value-based Purchasing
In the "good news" category, we are pleased to let you know that CMS has released three "roadmap" reports, describing how the agency will move forward over the next three-to-five years in the areas of quality measurement, resource utilization measurement, and value-based purchasing. A summary of these reports (with links to the roadmaps embedded within) can be accessed here. While many of the initiatives, strategies, and goals that CP Alliance and its members have been advocating are included in the documents, there are some areas that will need continued advocacy efforts.
Full Document

October 2007
Ensuring High Quality, Affordable Health Care
There is wide variation in the quality of health care available to Americans, and that the variation in care has significant costs in lives and dollars. One of the ways to bridge the gap between the care that people receive and what the health system is capable of delivering is through performance measurement and reporting initiatives - ones that are meaningful for consumers and purchasers, as well as for those being measured. Transparent, public information not only encourages consumers to consider quality and cost-effectiveness in their health care decisions, but also guides effort to improve outcomes and slow the rise of health care costs. In the absence of quality measurement and information, patients suffer the most.

Below are "fact sheets" that summarize critical elements for improving quality and affordability as well as potential solutions to make our health care system work well for those it serves. We hope that you will download them to learn more about these issues, and use them when you talk to policy makers, opinion leaders, and other stakeholders about the need for reforming the health care system. You can download PDF versions of the fact sheets, as well as Word versions you can alter and personalize for your own use.

  • Overview of the fact sheets (PDF) (Microsoft Word)
  • Measuring and reporting on the quality and costs of care to create a transparent health care system (PDF) (Microsoft Word)
  • Providing tools that help consumers make good health care decisions (PDF) (Microsoft Word)
  • Rewarding providers who deliver better care (PDF) (Microsoft Word)
  • Encouraging the rapid adoption of health information technology (PDF) (Microsoft Word)
  • Creating a health care system that delivers the right care at the right time in the right setting (PDF) (Microsoft Word)
  • Ensuring our health care system provides high quality care for everyone (PDF) (Microsoft Word)

Download All Fact Sheets (PDF) (Microsoft Word)


October 2007
Using Electronic Data for Performance Measurement
The urgency consumers and purchasers feel for information to make well-informed decisions about health care is frequently out-of-synch with the slow pace of performance measure development and reporting. Electronic data, and in particular electronic health records, hold the promise of being the means to a feasible data system more readily able to collect robust measures of performance. This issue brief describes electronic data, compares it to other sources of data used for performance measurement, and highlights actions to speed its use. Full Document


September 2007
A Pocket Guide to Seven Key Measurement Issues
In discussions with clinicians and researchers, consumer advocates and purchasers often encounter common arguments. This guide provides talking points which articulate purchaser and consumer positions on seven key issues and draw on the Institute of Medicine's definition of health care performance - a multidimensional concept which includes safety, timeliness, effectiveness, efficiency, equity and patient-centeredness. Full Document

Measures to Market Project

November 2006
Measures to Market Report
CP Alliance commissioned a broad-based research effort with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to identify business models that would support and sustain all elements of the measurement enterprise, spanning measure development, endorsement, data collection and reporting of physician performance in the ambulatory setting. Despite pioneering efforts by numerous regional and national organizations, sustainable business models that support all of the required business activities remain elusive. The Measures to Market report identifies two business models for their potential to accelerate broad-based, sustainable performance measurement and reporting. The two models both share a "Common Foundation" for the business activities of measure development, maintenance, consensus and endorsement and both reflect public/private engagement.

Executive Summary
Full Report
View presentation


September 30, 2006
Guidelines on Physician and Hospital Performance Updated
An uncommon coalition of more than 25 of the nation's leading consumer, employer and labor organizations have announced guidelines to promote rapid, industry-wide adoption of performance measures to help patients compare the relative quality and cost of care provided by the nation's hospitals, physicians and health care systems. These guidelines have been updated to recognize other quality alliances, such as AQA or Hospital Quality Alliance, that engage in consensus measure selection.
Press release
Download guidelines
Endorsing organizations


June 30, 2005
Principles for Making Medicare Payments Performance-Sensitive
A broad cross-section of consumer and employer organizations - representing more than 100 million Americans - have called for Medicare to publicly report and pay physicians, hospitals, health plans, and other providers on how well they deliver high-quality, efficient, and patient-centered care.
Press release, principles, and endorsing organizations


May 2004
State Experience in Health Quality Data Collection
Today, statewide health care data collection efforts exist in 48 states and the District of Columbia. The structure, function, and governance of these organizations varies markedly from one to another. Spurred by the work of the Institute of Medicine, national attention to the issue of medical care quality and the need for data to measure it has greatly increased. This paper documents the richness of the diversity of the state experience and includes some observations on the elements that have proved critical, at the state level, to ensure the data system enjoys continued support.
Full Document


July 2003
More Efficient Physicians: A Path to Significant Savings in Health Care
CP Alliance advocates for making information across all of the Institute of Medicine's six domains of health care quality - safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable, and patient-centered - available and actionable. One of those domains that has received strikingly little attention, given the cost pressures being felt by purchasers and consumers, is the relative efficiency with which care is delivered. To help inform the discussion about Medicare reform and private sector efforts to reward more efficient physicians, CP Alliance sought out the opinions of leading actuaries and health researchers to estimate the potential savings to Medicare if either a small portion of beneficiaries began using more efficient physicians or a similarly small proportion of physicians improved the efficiency of their practice pattern. The conclusion: Medicare and other purchasers could save from 2% to 4% of total costs if only one out of ten beneficiaries were to move from less efficient to more efficient physicians.
Brief Summary
Full Document