A newly launched website known as “Hospital Compare” is the most comprehensive attempt yet by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to display voluntary, self-reported information by hospitals on steps that can be taken to reduce the impact of three major causes of morbidity and mortality – heart attack, heart failure, and pneumonia – in a consumer-friendly format.
An April 11 luncheon briefing on the effort featured four experts who explained “Hospital Compare” and how consumers can make the best use of the information. The briefing also discussed the data underpinning the measures, and will reflect on whether reporting can be expanded to include additional results for other common diseases and injuries.
Sponsors were the Alliance for Health Reform and the Hospital Quality Alliance, a public-private partnership among hospitals, government agencies, quality experts and stakeholders working to improve the quality of health care through information. Speakers were Elliott Sussman, CEO of Lehigh Valley Hospital; Gerald Shea, assistant to the president for government affairs at the AFL-CIO; Margaret O’Kane, president of the National Committee for Quality Assurance; and Michael McMullan, deputy director for beneficiary services at the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. Chip Kahn, president of the Federation of American Hospitals, made opening remarks, and Ed Howard of the Alliance moderated the discussion.
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