Saturday, May 24, 2008

The CMS Website Comparing Hospital Performance Is a Good Step Forward

With much fanfare, Medicare (CMS) has stepped up the publicity for its website enabling consumers to compare their local hospitals' quality of care and cost data.

So, I went to it and put in the necessary info for my neighborhood. While a number of hospitals came up, I was able to create a side-by-side analysis for three choices. (I suggest you simply ask for all hospitals within a certain distance from your city and then select the three you want.)

When I asked about the hospitals' results for bypass surgery I got some very impressive information about key hospital and surgical health care process criteria as well as a patient satisfaction survey.

When I asked about the same hospitals' performance for diabetes, far less information came up--this is clearly a work in progress. What they did show was the average Medicare payment to the hospital for diabetes and the number of patients Medicare paid for in that hospital over a year. They also showed the results of a patient customer satisfaction survey on items from pain control to how quiet their room was.

Give the site a try--it's a very positive step forward!

While you're at it, don't forget the American Hospital Directory site that provides significant financial information--including profits--by hospital.
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