Medicare, coupled with the Hospital Quality Alliance and other healthcare stakeholders, have updated the consumer-centric Hospital Compare Web site to include pneumonia mortality rates and treatment statistics for young asthma patientsa move meant to help patients better rate and compare hospitals.
Its the second update to the site this year. In March, the CMS included patient-satisfaction data to the already existing 39 quality measures it tallies and ranks.
This information will also serve as a benchmark so Medicare beneficiaries and other consumers can determine on a year-by-year basis whether their hospital is improving for these important outcome measures, CMS acting Administrator Kerry Weems said on a conference call with reporters. All of this adds up to better quality of care and better value for Medicare patientsand ultimately all patients.
With the addition of the pneumonia mortality, the Web site now houses mortality data for three common medical occurrences, including heart attack and heart failure. Going back to last year, Medicare has seen improvement nationally on mortality rates for heart attacks, dropping to 16.1% reported this year from 16.3% from 2007, Weems said.
The update to the Web site, postponed from its scheduled mid-July update, also allows consumers to get a better handle on the data that hospitals report. Where it used to include whether a hospital was better than, the same or worse than the national average, patients can now see risk-adjusted data, including the number of cases for each hospital.
The Hospital Quality Alliance is a voluntary public-private initiative that includes hospitals, physicians, nurses, federal agencies, quality experts, consumer and business groups.