The CMS launched a new Web site, more than two years in the making, that lists data comparing about 4,200 U.S. hospitals in how well they treat patients suffering from heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia.
Nearly every U.S. hospital provided data for Hospital Compare on their performance on 17 quality measures for the three conditions. CMS Administrator Mark McClellan called the launch of Hospital Compare an important "first step" during a news conference at the Association of Healthcare Journalists' annual meeting in Chapel Hill, N.C., this week.
The Hospital Quality Alliance, a public-private partnership that planned the Web site, intends to continue collecting and disseminating quality data, including adding new quality measures related to patient satisfaction and hospital-acquired infections to the site by next year, officials said. The alliance includes the American Hospital Association, the CMS, the Federation of American Hospitals, the AFL-CIO and a number of other consumer and quality organizations.
"This is just the beginning," AHA President Dick Davidson said at the news conference. "This is a big deal. This is information consumers will want to know in advance before the need for using it arises."