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Hospital Compare Adds Infection, Stroke, Readmissions Data

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, December 17, 2013

She applauded the fact that CMS has added several quality measures to the website. But she expressed disappointment that most hospitals in all measures are rated as "average" with very few shown to be better than or worse than other hospitals, making it difficult for healthcare organizations or the public to discern differences between healthcare settings.

"Moreover," she says, "as usual, the data is not made available by bricks-and-mortar hospital, but by Medicare Provider Number, which is less useful to consumers who care only about their hospital in their community, and not the larger corporation" or hospital system or network.

As an example, Binder cited one measure, a composite safety score called PSI 90, which includes individual types of patient harm such as rates of pressure ulcers or accidental lacerations or punctures, preoperative hemorrhage, and postoperative wound dehiscence, for which the public sees an overall score now on Hospital Compare.

Binder says, however, that CMS has made that data available in other ways at a granular level. "This is something CMS promised purchaser and consumer stakeholders they would do, so we are pleased to see it happen. Next they should make it available in an accessible format for consumers."

Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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