Outpatient, Readmission Data Added to Hospital Compare Site

Janice Simmons, July 9, 2010

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has expanded the amount of information available on its Hospital Compare website to include 11 new outpatient measures, along with updated information related to 30 day mortality and readmissions rates for patients related to heart failure, heart attack, and pneumonia.

As of March, data from more than 4,600 acute care, critical access, and children's hospitals could be found on the site; 80% are acute care hospitals that can receive financial incentives through Medicare's inpatient prospective payment system.

The site currently receives over one million page views per month "making it one of our more popular resources for consumers," said Marilyn Tavenner, CMS acting administrator, at a telebriefing.

The new information being released on Hospital Compare is not a surprise to the nation's hospitals, said Barry Straub, CMS's chief medical officer. This data had already been shared with the hospitals several months ago, including patient satisfaction data. "Many hospitals have already begun to improve their efforts based on these measures," he said.

The big change is that Hospital Compare has expanded beyond the inpatient setting to look at the coordination of care in the outpatient setting. These 11 measures capture elements of care for patients in the outpatient departments, emergency departments, and observation services: They include:

  • Five specifying immediate treatments for outpatients with heart attack symptoms or chest pains (such as administration of clot-busting drugs within 30 minutes).
  • Two specifying antibiotic use and actions to prevent infection of surgical wounds on the day of surgery.
  • Four specifying use of radiology and imaging, including computed tomography scans, mammographies, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Janice Simmons Janice Simmons is a senior editor and Washington, DC, correspondent for HealthLeaders Media Online. She can be reached at jsimmons@healthleadersmedia.com.
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