|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
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
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.