Daily Archives: March 15, 2012

Compare Hospital Care

Flickr user: Jose Goulao

When you or a family member need medical attention, you of course want the very best you can find – a facility or doctor who specializes in the exact problem you’re dealing with. Wouldn’t it be helpful if there was a resource for comparing hospitals and doctors and other medical service providers to objectively assess their effectiveness and reliability?

Fortunately, there is just such a tool available from the U.S. government through the Health & Human Services Department and  Medicare.gov websites. This interactive site enables you to search for a facility or person by name or have the system develop a list of possibilities for you based on criteria you specify.  For hospital comparisons, the search begins with a location – zip code or city, state and the search type – general, medical conditions, or surgical procedures.  From the results, you can pick up to 3 hospitals to compare in the areas of general information, quality of care, medicare payment and volume data.

Although this tool is located on the Medicare site, it’s for everyone – not just Medicare eligible individuals.  In addition to the hospital comparison feature, you can also compare drug and health plans, nursing homes, dialysis facilities, and home health care.  Each of these compare options include search refinements unique to the service.  For example, under the nursing home compare you can refine your search to include nursing homes within a continuing care retirement community or located within a hospital.

- Eunice B., CADL Reference Librarian