New Data Added to Government’s Hospital Compare Website that is Already Booming

More than 2.5 million visitors per month attracted to features like deaths by hospital and hospital care ratings by consumers

The Website maintained by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to provide comparative hospital information for consumers – Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers in particular – has been attracting over 2.5 million visitors per month, but it is certain to get a big boost this week with the additional of new information, including more information on death rates at each hospital.

The latest improvements include the addition of a mortality measure for pneumonia and, for the first time on Hospital Compare, publicly reported measures for hospital care of children. Previously, Hospital Compare had provided only quality information based on hospitalizations of adult patients.

Since its inception in March 2005 Hospital Compare has become a popular tool for consumers and their care givers in making health care decisions.

CMS is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and it maintains the Hospital Compare consumer Web site (http://www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov) that gives consumers better insight into the quality of care provided by their local hospitals.

The addition of patient experience data and Medicare payment and volume information in March 2008 caused the number of page views to jump from an average of 600,000 per month to more than 2.5 million per month. Page views for this year to date have totaled more than 20 million.

“Reporting quality data on the care provided hospital patients is a key to our continuing effort to provide better, value-based health care for all Americans,” HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said.

“Expanding the scope of measures is making Hospital Compare a more valuable tool for all health care consumers.”

Earlier this year, Medicare added patient satisfaction information to the Web site.

Today’s additions bring the total to 26 process of care measures, three outcome of care measures, two children’s asthma care measures, and 10 patient experience of care measures.

Hospital Compare also contains information about the number of certain elective hospital procedures provided to patients and what Medicare pays for those services.

“CMS’ goal for updating and enhancing the Hospital Compare Web site is to provide usable and accurate information about hospital performance to providers and communities that will encourage hospitals to excel in the quality of care they provide,” said CMS Acting Administrator Kerry Weems. “With these new enhancements, consumers and health care providers will be able to look at individual hospital mortality scores. We hope that this new information will cement the Web site’s role as a key driver in improving the quality and reliability of care in the nation’s hospitals.”

The Hospital Compare website can be accessed at http://www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov

Short cut URL to mortality information (Minitool): http://www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov/hospital/mortalitytool/index.asp