CMS (the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) is beginning a new program to help health consumers compare hospitals based on quality.
The agency “launched a new website that allows users to compare not just hospitals, but also doctors and nursing homes. The site compares facilities based on several criteria, including the satisfaction of previous patients.” CMS Administrator Don Berwick said, “These efforts are designed to also encourage providers to deliver safe, patient-centered care that consumers can rely on and will motivate improvement across our health care system.”
CQ (Subscription Publication) reported that CMS “officials said they have also updated data on an existing website devoted to hospitals in an effort to help consumers compare facilities. And they’ve added new information, including how well hospitals guard against infection during outpatient surgical procedures.”
In addition, “the agency outlined a fresh set of goals for the ‘QIOs’ — the independent organizations that contract with Medicare to improve the quality and efficiency of care under the program.”
Modern Healthcare (Subscription Publication) reported that according to Berwick, the site “would allow ‘one-stop shopping’ for consumers looking for information on quality or the type of services provided by hospitals, physicians, nursing homes, home care or dialysis providers.”
Also, the agency “released data…on hospital readmissions for heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia that found little change in performance.”
In fact, the data showed “only small changes to the readmissions rate, according to Medicare, which compared data for the years 2007 through 2010 against data for the years between 2006 and 2009.”