Perspectives: Are We There Yet? A Look at the National Long-Term Services And Supports Scorecard

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How many times in our lives have we been on the giving or receiving end of this inscrutable little question? Given our web-enabled lives, the answer often comes easily. There is nothing quite like accessing a quick set of directions on my cell phone, or the certainty that a confident GPS voice will tell me exactly how many more miles I must travel to reach a desired destination. So many fundamental activities crucial to our daily lives can be measured with certainty and confidence, but not so in health care – and certainly not when it comes to aging and long-term services and supports.

Date Updated: 09/07/2011

Over the last three decades, much progress has been made to measure quality of care delivered in medicine, particularly in an acute setting. While still too opaque and not always useful to consumers (people and families) or purchasers of care, we still know a lot more about what “good performance” looks like in a hospital or a doctor’s office. Many aspects of health care access, delivery, and cost have improved as a result of concerted measurement efforts. That’s the point…to really show improvement, we must know a starting point and then measure change over time.