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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: March 15, 2011
Medicare Expands Hospital Information On Web Site

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has expanded the amount of information available on its Hospital Compare Web site.

The site now includes updated information on 30-day mortality and readmissions rates for patients admitted to hospitals for heart failure, heart attack and pneumonia. It also includes 10 new outpatient measures, including whether patients who are treated for suspected heart attacks receive proven therapies that reduce mortality (aspirin upon arrival), are protected from surgical-site infections and receive safe and efficient imaging services.

This information is shared with consumers and providers to improve the quality and transparency of care by giving the American public and health care professionals better access to important hospital data. The new outpatient measures complement the inpatient clinical process and patient satisfaction measures already reported on Hospital Compare to promote increased scrutiny by hospitals of patient outcomes in the service of providing the right care for every patient, every time, CMS said.

CMS has been reporting information about the quality of care at America’s hospitals for several years. In 2007 it began reporting 30-day mortality rates for inpatient hospital stays related to heart attack and heart failure. The next year it added 30-day mortality rates for pneumonia-related stays.

In 2009 CMS unveiled a new set of measures on Hospital Compare that show 30-day all-cause readmissions for patients who had been previously admitted to the hospital for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia.

Using Validated Claims Data

To help consumers use outcomes data more effectively, CMS placed each hospital into one of three categories based on their mortality or readmissions rates: "Better than U.S. National Rate," "No Different than U.S. National Rate," or "Worse than U.S. National Rate."

The model CMS uses to assess inpatient hospital outcomes is based on claims data and has been validated by models based on clinical data. It takes into account medical care received during the year prior to each patient’s hospital admission, as well as the number of admissions at each hospital.

Hospital outpatient measures are calculated using different methods, depending on the measure. More than 95 percent of Medicare-participating hospital outpatient departments participate in this effort.

CMS is required by the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 to make quality data on the outpatientservices provided by hospitals available to the public.

It updates most of its inpatient and outpatient Hospital Compare measures quarterly, though inpatient outcomes measures and outpatient imaging efficiency measures are updated annually.

To learn more about the quality of care available at your local hospital, visit Hospital Compare at www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov.


  This article was taken from:
Pay-for-Performance Reporter

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