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Analysis

CMS to Combine, Standardize Compare Tools

By John Commins  
   January 24, 2020

The new format is designed to facilitate access through a single-entry point.

The Medicare website will combine its eight separate Compare tools under one combined, standardized and simplified format in the coming months, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced.

In a blog posting this week, CMS Administrator Seema Verma said the new format will launch this spring, and will "allow users to access the same information through a single point of entry and simplified navigation to find the information that is currently divided in places like Nursing Home Compare and Hospital Compare."

"The new 'Medicare Care Compare' on Medicare.gov will offer Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers and other users a consistent look and feel, providing a streamlined experience to meet their individual needs in accessing information about healthcare providers and care settings," Verma said.

Currently, Medicare uses eight separate Compare tools – Hospital, Nursing Home, Home Health, Dialysis Facility, Long-term Care Hospital, Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility, Physician and Hospice – on Medicare.gov to find and compare doctors.

"In the new, unified experience, patients will be able to easily find the information that is most important to help make healthcare decisions, like getting quality data by the type of healthcare provider," Verma said.

Verma said CMS is also developing an improved "companion portal" that Medicare researchers and stakeholders can use to access the more detailed data, that will also launch this spring.

"This new 'Provider Data Catalog' will reside on CMS.gov," Verma said. "It will have an improved interface and intuitive search features to allow users to easily search and download CMS' publicly reported data, better serving stakeholders who use the interactive and downloadable datasets like those currently found on data.Medicare.gov."

All of the data sets will be made available through an Application Programming Interface from the Provider Data Catalog.

"Even though we’re making these enhancements, it doesn’t change our public reporting requirements, and we will continue to meet every reporting mandate," Verma said.

Following a transition period after the launches, the existing tools will be terminated.

“In the new, unified experience, patients will be able to easily find the information that is most important to help make healthcare decisions.”

John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

The new format will launch this spring, and will allow users to access the same information through a single point of entry, with simplified navigation.

Medicare.gov now uses eight Compare tools – Hospital, Nursing Home, Home Health, Dialysis Facility, Long-term Care Hospital, Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility, Physician and Hospice.

CMS is also developing an improved "companion portal" that Medicare researchers and stakeholders can use to access the more detailed data, that will also launch this spring.


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