The original Compare tools CMS first launched over 15 years ago will be removed from the Medicare website on December 1, replaced by a new version.
CMS released in September a redesigned website that consolidates its eight online tools intended for Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers to compare healthcare providers and settings. The renovated site was an effort by CMS to create a more streamlined user experience. The original Compare tools forced a user to use different interfaces on the Medicare website depending on the care setting in which they were interested.
Since the remodeled site was launched, CMS maintained the original compare tools as well, calling it a transition period. During this time, CMS has also been gathering feedback from users of the remodeled site through an online survey. The agency said in a notice its "received lots of greater feedback so far," although no details were provided.
The remodeled site, called Care Compare, uses the same quality information as the original compare tools.
The healthcare settings available to users to compare are hospitals, nursing homes, home health, dialysis centers, long-term care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation, physicians and hospice groups. The version for hospitals has been a point of contention because it displays quality star ratings, which have been heavily criticized by hospitals. CMS has proposed changes to the star ratings methodology but current star ratings continue to be displayed on the website.