Vermont Transparency Tool Advising

Examining best practices in healthcare reporting for Vermont

Our team examined the healthcare public reporting landscape both nationally and in Vermont for the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) and prepared a comprehensive report on the feasibility of developing a publicly available healthcare transparency website.


The findings from the study, submitted to the Vermont legislature, helped state policymakers make decisions about implementing a healthcare transparency website. 

  • Data Collection and Analysis
  • Reporting
  • Dissemination
  • Policy Recommendations

Exploring the national landscape and trends in public reporting

In 2015, we examined potential options and best practices for delivering healthcare cost and quality information to consumers via the web. This work culminated in the Consumer Information and Price Transparency Report for the Vermont state legislature. In addition to helping GMCB gauge the feasibility of administering a public‑facing transparency website, we provided recommendations on how they could adhere to best practices and emerging standards to empower Vermont residents to make informed decisions.

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As part of our study, we identified twelve best practice elements for healthcare transparency websites and examined 49 sites, both public and private, to determine how many conformed to them.

It’s not just about data, it’s about delivery  

As part of this effort, we analyzed 49 healthcare transparency websites, interviewed directors of 13 of these sites, and performed a comprehensive literature review. We identified best practices in public reporting, which include but are not limited to: implementing reporting categories, defining quality elements, distinguishing performance in a user-friendly format, aligning cost and quality data, explaining methodologies, and providing supporting resources.

The Results

HSRI prepared a 62-page report in accordance with the Vermont legislature in Act 54 requiring that the GMCB “evaluate potential models for allowing consumers to compare information about the cost and quality of healthcare services available across the state…” Developing and maintaining healthcare transparency websites is both complex and costly, and there are widely diverging opinions on the types of cost data to display, the ways to portray the data, and the integration of quality measures. The report helped Vermont appreciate the resources involved in developing and maintaining a publicly available website, determine that implementing a project of this magnitude was not feasible at the time, and explore a next course of action.

Read the report here.


Green Mountain Care Board

Project Partner(s):

NORC at the University of Chicago

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