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CMS Launches "Hospital Compare" Website

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Issue 27, Spring 2005

CMS Launches "Hospital Compare" Website
by Alison Hirschel, MPLP Elder Law Attorney

Following the introduction several years ago of the popular "Nursing Home Compare" website and the more recent home health agency site, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has now launched a new website to allow consumers to compare data on hospitals in their area. The website contains information on 17 different quality measures such as the percentage of pneumonia patients who receive an antibiotic within four hours of arrival at the hospital or the proportion of heart failure patients who receive self-care information upon discharge. For each performance measure, there is a bar chart showing how a facility performs relative to all hospitals in the state and to all hospitals in the country. The website also has links to consumer information including suggested questions to ask health care providers, hospitals, and insurance companies and information about hospital patients' rights. The website is available at www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov.