Massachusetts Launches Health Care Comparison Web Site
Massachusetts on Wednesday launched a Web site that allows state residents to compare the cost and quality of care provided at different hospitals, the Boston Globe reports. The Web site, www.mass.gov/myhealthcareoptions, provides previously confidential information about how much insurers pay individual hospitals for surgical procedures, such as knee and hip replacements, and for treating illnesses.
The site, which is part of the state's new health insurance law, also allows comparisons of patient ratings for each facility and how the hospital compares with its competitors in meeting patient safety measures. The state Health Care Quality and Cost Council will oversee the site.
JudyAnn Bigby, secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services, in a statement said, "While it remains to be seen how improved access to price and quality information will impact decision-making, our hope is that the Web site will empower consumers to spend health care dollars more efficiently and motivate providers to improve quality and decrease their costs" (Kowalczyk, Boston Globe, 12/11).
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