Document Type


Original Presentation Date



Poster presented at American Academy on Communication in Healthcare Research and Teaching Forum, 2012

Date of Submission

May 2014



There is tremendous variation in quality, healthcare service utilization and disparities experienced by the poor, certain minorities, and other priority populations. Public reporting is identified as one method of bringing these differences to light and by informing consumers through documented comparison of provider performance to influence change and encourage improvement in healthcare. The federal Accountable Care Act has the stated mandate “to improve the dissemination of measures of healthcare quality and resource use, (and) to build the science of public reporting.” However, early studies on the design and use of consumer reports cite the public’s confusion and lack of understanding regarding the utility of such reports.


1. Determine if public reporting is being utilized in making healthcare decisions:

  • by vulnerable consumers defined as African American, Latino and White populations who are Medicare beneficiaries
  • by vulnerable consumers with chronic diseases such as diabetes

2. Determine the gaps in knowledge of healthcare public reports utilization by vulnerable populations

3. Identify barriers and facilitators to help vulnerable diabetic populations make informed decisions about personal healthcare services


A systematic review of the literature was conducted of relevant databases, reports, books, websites, and grey literature.

Conclusions/Lessons Learned:

  • While consumer reports are designed for consumers, consumers rarely use them and seem unaware of the availability of such reports.
  • Little evidence that reports are designed for vulnerable populations. Much work needed to assist consumers in using consumer reports.

Recommended Citation

Longo DR, Wright BA. Public reporting as a communication tool to aid vulnerable consumers in healthcare decisions: what do we know? Poster presented at: American Academy on Communication in Healthcare Research and Teaching Forum; Providence, Rhode Island; October 12, 2012.