CMS Updates Nursing Home, Hospital Compare Websites

By  //  July 21, 2012

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Healthcare Consumer Update

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently expanded and updated data, and improved the user interface of their official quality reporting websites, Hospital Compare and Nursing Home Compare, which provide information about the quality of care at over 4,000 CMS-certified hospitals and 17,000 CMS-certified nursing homes nationwide. 

The website was created by CMS in collaboration with organizations representing consumers, hospitals, doctors, employers, accrediting organizations, and other Federal agencies to help healthcare consumers make decisions regarding where to get their healthcare by providing a transparent methodology that allows comparison of hospital and nursing home performance and outcomes.

With an increasingly heightened consumer awareness of the need for more deliberation in identifying healthcare value and choosing healthcare providers and products, the government “Compare” websites have become increasingly popular, with more than 1.2 million visits to Hospital Compare, and more than 500,000 visits to Nursing Home Compare during the first six months of 2012.

The excerpted article below from HealthLeadersMedia goes into the details of the site updates and expansions. Having this information out in the public domain provides not only easy access for consumers to important quality comparisons on an understandable platform, but also is a compelling motivator for hospitals and nursing homes to strive for continuous improvement in quality, safety and service. 

HEALTHLEADERSMEDIA–Healthcare payers, providers and consumers may view an expanded and more current array of quality measures with a major update posted Thursday on two Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services websites, Hospital Compare and Nursing Home Compare.

The agency also refreshed annual readmissions and mortality rate data, with new spreadsheets showing those hospitals that are better or worse than national averages during a three-year period.  For readmissions, the data collection period of July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2011 represents the performance period that will be used to determine penalties as high as 1% of a hospital’s Medicare DRG payments starting Oct. 1.

The agency has also updated performance data for hospital-acquired conditions, healthcare-associated infections, outpatient imaging safety measures and certain metrics set by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality that may become part of the value-based purchasing incentive payment formula.

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