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Health Insurance Company Rate Increases over 10%  Editor's Pick

Healthcare.gov now reports names of health insurance plans who are requesting rate increases of 10% or more for individual policies or small group health plans. Published 2012

Top Dentists - Most states in US

From usatopdentists.com, comes this list of dentists who received higher ratings in surveys of general dentists and specialists in 30 states. May be city-specific or statewide in AR, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, HA, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MN, MS, MO, NV, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, WA, WV. Details on methods and how many dentists responded to the survey are somewhat unclear (see Selection Process).

Compare Community Health Center ratings

Find performance levels of about 1200 community health centers by state, on clinical measures: diabetes, hypertension, prenatal care, low birth weight, childhood immunizations and cervical cancer screening. UDS data from 2010

Government Employee 2012 Health Insurance Cost and Ratings (FEHB)  Editor's Pick

A very interesting web site from US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) helps federal employees and others compare the benefits, member satisfaction, and employee costs of up to 4 health insurance plans at one time. Search by zip code; choose local plans and/or national plans. Very convenient and current. Dental premiums (click on left navigation list) are shown by a more complicated rating area code. Click on Health Insurance Premiums (on left) to see the amount that taxpayers and government institutions pay toward the total health care premiums

HealthGrades Bariatric Surgery Excellence Award (TM) (selected states)

HealthGrades gave excellence awards to hospitals in 15 states for top quality in Bariatric surgical procedures such as gastric bypass, laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy and Roux-en-Y, BPD-DS; 19 states were studied (AZ, CA, CO, FL, IA, ME, MD, MA, NJ, NY, NC, OR, PA, RI, TX, UT, VA, WA and WI). Volume, survival rates, complication rates and length of stay were studied using 2008-2010 data. HealthGrades calculated an average mortality of 0.057%, with declining complication rates. Hospitals received a 5-star rating (the best), Average price reported to be about $42,000, with Maryland the least expensive at $16,000 to $18,000. Calif. was the most expensive laparoscopic surgery at $56,744, and New Jersey averaged $85k for open bariatric surgery. Pub. July 2012

HealthGrades Maternity and Women's Care Award (selected states)

HealthGrades lists its 5-star hospitals (Excellence Awards) in women's health, including cardiovascular and hip fractures, maternity care, and gynecologic procedures. 19 states studied. Uses 2008-2010 data. Only 19 states participate in the study (AZ, CA, FL, IA, ME, MD, MA, NV, NJ, NY, NC, OR, PA, RI, TX, UT, VA, WA and WI). Pub. June 2012

HealthGrades Organ Transplant Excellence Awards (TM)

HealthGrades gave 2011 excellence awards to hospitals in 14 states (CA, CT, FL, GA, IN, LA, MA, MN, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TX, WA) for Kidney Transplants (11 hospitals in US), Liver (4), Heart (2) and Lung Transplants (3 hospitals). Programs in 200+ hospitals were evaluated for survival outcomes (transplants in 2004 to 2009) and waitlist mortality in 2009. Published November 2010

Hospital Rates of Scheduling Early C-Sections (Leapfrog)

Compare hospitals on their rates of scheduling C-Sections before the recommended 39 weeks, without a medically-indicated reason. Medical experts recommend that babies need at least 39 completed weeks to develop fully, which includes having a fully developed brain and other organs. Some hospitals do not follow this guideline. From the 2011 hospital survey by the Leapfrog Group, January 2012

Perceptions of Hospitals by People in Washington (ppt)

Results of public opinion research regarding people's ideas about community responsibility, hospital quality and more. While this Powerpoint presentation is specific to Washington state, it has general applicability in concept to how consumers think about hospitals, what they think are important quality factors, and sources of credible information. May 2005

Seattle Washington - seattlemag.com's Top Doctors, 2010

Seattle Magazine selected 381 best doctors in the greater Seattle area, based on a Castle Connolly survey of physicians. Extensive list of specialties including Internal Medicine, Family Practice Medicine, Cancer Specialties, Cardiovascular care, Dermatology, OB-GYN, Gastroenterology, Hand Surgery, Orthopedics, Urology, Pain Management, Pediatric Specialties, Surgery and many more. Survey received 3500 WA nominees. Published July 2010

WA Hospital Ratings - Angioplasty and Heart Bypass 2007

Compare over 30 hospitals in Washington on PCI - percutaneous coronary interventions (reopening clogged arteries) or cardiac bypass - Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (CABG). Read the symbols carefully to find the few who performed exceptionally well in 2007, and those who were significantly lower performers. Shows how hospitals did on the patient survival measures (mortality). Site by COAP - Clinical Outcomes Assessment Program, from the non-profit Foundation for Healthcare Quality, 2009

WA Premera Blue Cross - Medical Clinic Quality & Patient Satisfaction Ratings 2008  Editor's Pick

Fifteen (15) clinics participating in Premera Blue Cross' Quality Score Card report quality performance on asthma, breast and cervical cancer screening, diabetes, ear infection and well child visits, heart disease, cholesterol screening, use of generic drugs; patient satisfaction with appointment times, waiting times and overall quality, and more. Clinics: Columbia, Lakeshore, Madrona, Minor & James, MultiCare, Pacific, Pediatric Associates, Physicians (Spokane), Rockwood, Swedish, Everett Clinic, Polyclinic First Hill, UW Medicine Neighborhood, Virginia Mason Medical, and Wenatchee Valley. Washington state including Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane, Bellevue, Bothell, Bellingham

WA Puget Sound Clinic and Hospital Quality Ratings (WACommunityCheckup.org)  Editor's Pick

Compare care among 82 physician medical groups (nearly 240 clinic locations) in the Seattle Tacoma Olympia Bremerton region, in counties of King, Pierce, Snohomish, Kitsap & Thurston. Includes Cardiac Study Center, Evergreen, Franciscan, Group Health, Harborview, Highline, International, Lakeshore, Minor & James, MultiCare, Northwest, Overlake, Pacific Medical, Planned Parenthood, Providence, Puget Sound, Sea-mar, Southlake, Summit View, Swedish, Doctors' Clinic, The Everett Clinic, Polyclinic, UW Medicine Neighborhood, Valley Medical Center, Virginia Mason, Western WA, a variety of Cardiology, Family Medicine, Public Health, OB-GYN, and Pediatric groups and others. Clinics voluntarily reported on how well they cared for millions of insured non-Medicare patients in asthma, diabetes, heart disease, back pain, depression, antibiotic & generic drug use, and early screening for breast & cervical cancers, and chlamydia (under mislabeled Prevention title). Ground-breaking in its scope of participation by doctors. No composite scores; users will also likely experience difficulties in printing results the way they want. Compare over 25 hospitals in region for heart care, pneumonia, surgery (preventing infections and blood clots), and patient satisfaction experience. Health Alliance Community Checkup by Puget Sound Health Alliance, uses 2007-2008 data. July 2009

Washington (state) Hospital Inpatient Prices

Find out the typical charges (2010-2011 prices) to estimate the average cost of hospital surgery or medical problems. About 60 types, including maternity care, psychiatric hospitalization and digestive problems, are covered. Shows one hospital at a time similar to other state pricepoint systems. Presented by the WA State Hospital Association (WSHA)

Washington - Credential Lookup System

All professions - medical doctor (physician), osteopaths, chiropractors, dentists, nurses, etc. can be searched at this site by the WA State Department of Health, Health Professions Quality Assurance. Basic physician license information. Without the physician's first name, consumers will have difficulty finding information

Washington - Health Insurance Plan Complaint Index 2009

Compare complaint levels for WA health insurance plans (2009 Health Carrier Complaints) for Kaiser Northwest, Group Health (Options and Cooperative), Community Health, Pacificare, Providence, Health Net of Oregon, Regence BlueCross BlueShield, Asuris, Premera Blue Cross, KPS, Lifewise, Aetna and Washington Dental and more. State Office of Insurance Commissioner OIC

Washington Health Insurance Plan Performance 2009 (pdf)

Shows administrative expenses (average 12.7%), profits, number of enrollees and claims expenses by health plan name for 16 insurance companies: Aetna, Arcadian, Asuris, Columbia United, Community Health Plan, Group Health, Kaiser Foundation, KPS, Lifewise, Molina, PacifiCare, Premera BlueCross, Providence, Regence BlueCross Blue Shield, and specialty health plans for dental or vision care. Report made available through the Washington State Hospital Association

Washington Hospital ER Prices and Use (2008-2009)

Find the average charge for a hospital ER visit in Washington (Jan. 2008 to June 2009), by patient age group, or diagnosis. An upper respiratory infection averaged $799, chest pain $4802, headache $2485. Fifty types of emergency visits. Self-pay and uninsured visits shown; average price for a dental disorder ER visit was $489. From the WA state hospital association Oct. 2010

Washington Hospital Infection Rates, 2010

Compare infection rates among Washington's hospitals, for central line infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia. Reports available for 2009 and 2010, by the WA State Dept. of Health. Use the left navigation column to find the reports. We like the map option. April 2011

Washington Hospital Quality Ratings and Satisfaction Levels

Compare WA hospital scores for Surgical Infections (cardiac surgery, orthopedics, hysterectomy) Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Pneumonia, childrens Asthma Care, and patient opinions. Mortality (survival) data for heart care and pneumonia. Consumers can find some of this information at the federal HospitalCompare site, but here all hospitals are side-by-side and may be easier to see. Most data are up to 2011; Washington State Hospital Association

Washington lists of Health Facilities (rosters)

Use the interactive database to find lists of health care facilities licensed by the WA State Department of Health: hospitals, and home health (filed under I for In-Home service). Provides only the barest amount of information and does NOT include nursing homes

Washington Nursing Home Locator (roster)

Interactive database to help consumers find nursing homes in the state of WA. Basic contact information provided. Not as easy to use as other states' websites

Washington Pharmacy Discount Card and Drug Prices

WA state provides a prescription drug discount card for enrolled members (no cost to enroll in WPDP.) Search by city or zip code for local pharmacy prices for drug stores participating in the Prescription Drug Program (e.g. Target or Shopko) compared with a selected mail order for brand name and generic drugs. Available through Attorney General's office

Dead by Mistake - Hospital Ratings in CA, NY, CT, TX, WA

Compare hospitals on their safety records in five states: California, Connecticut, New York, Texas and Washington. Results from Hearst Newspapers' project analysis of data on patient safety and participation in national Safety initiatives, plus specific stories of patient experiences, were reported in the online Houston Chronicle, Aug. 2009. Dates of the databases used are not disclosed; most patient stories are from 2003 to 2008

Estimates of Uninsured in Each County, US Census Bureau  Editor's Pick

Estimates of the number and percent uninsured under age 65, by state and county for 2009, provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE) released October 2011

County Health Rankings 2012 - All States  Editor's Pick

Compare your county health status to the rest of your state, on smoking, obesity, alcohol use, preventable hospital admissions, primary care provider rate, percent uninsured, motor vehicle crash rate, dental visit, access to healthy foods, liquor store density. Very interesting information. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Univ. of WI Population Health Institute

Health, United States Chartbook for 2010 (pdf)  Editor's Pick

Annual report on trends in health statistics from the publication Health, United States, 2010 edition, by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Report chartbook contains text and figures showing major trends in the health of Americans; excellent special section on death, dying and hospice; 148 trend tables. Published online by CDC Feb 2011; 563 pages, expect slow downloads

Kaiser statehealthfacts.org: Individual State Profiles

Compare states on health status, health insurance coverage, costs, utilization of health services, minority health, and more. Shows links to state government. From the Kaiser Family Foundation; 2010 update adds economic distress such as recent foreclosures and unemployment (from site's home page)

State Scorecard 2009: Access, Quality, Costs, Health

All states are ranked by The Commonwealth Fund in this State Scorecard on Health System Performance - Aiming Higher. Interactive database to see just your state. Better yet, check out who is at the top of the list: Vermont, Hawaii, Iowa, Minnesota, Maine, New Hampshire. Illnesses: asthma, diabetes, mental health, heart care, pneumonia, surgery, infections, bed sores, breast cancer, colorectal cancer. Data vary from 2004 to 2007-08; 38 measures

State-by-State Reports on 2009 Health Insurance Premiums (Families USA)

Series of reports by Families USA called [Premiums Outpace Paychecks] documents the skyrocketing rise in cost of health insurance from 2000 to estimated 2009. Most state reports now available. Provides estimates of employer and employee portions of individual or family health plan premiums. Pub. Aug - Sept. 2009

State-by-State Snapshots, 2010 (AHRQ)

State Snapshots show strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement in health and healthcare, based on data from the National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR). How does your state rate? Released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, May 2011

Other Helpful Listings

2007 Guide to State Adverse Event Reporting Systems (NASHP)

State Health Policy Survey Report provides a snap shot of the scope and operations of state government adverse event reporting systems as of 2007. At that time, four states (CO, IN, MN and NY) reported facility-specific data online. 20 pages, published by National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP), Portland, Maine, December 2007

Accredited Ambulatory Health Care and Surgery Centers (AAAHC)

The nonprofit Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) currently accredits over 4000 organizations in a wide variety of ambulatory health care settings, including ambulatory and office based outpatient surgery centers, IVF clinics and specialty clinics. Consumers can specify Student health center, Endoscopy center, Indian health center, military health care facility or ambulatory surgery center under Organization Type

Accredited Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF)

Directory of outpatient surgery facilities accredited by the nonprofit American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery (AAAASF). Over 1100 facilities are reportedly listed, and include cosmetic and plastic surgery centers. Details are very limited. Search by state using the form boxes on the left of your screen

Accredited Chest Pain Centers - Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC)

List of Accredited Chest Pain Centers - some with PCI (percutaneous cardiac intervention). Must meet emergency department requirements and standards for timely diagnosis and treatment. List is interactive by state or type of accreditation. Shows location of each hospital. Provided by the nonprofit Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC)

Accredited Healthcare Facilities - Joint Commission Accreditation (all states)  Editor's Pick

The Joint Commission (formerly JCAHO - Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) accredits hospitals and other healthcare organizations. Quality Check provides accreditation and comparison information for hospitals, home health/hospice, laboratories, some nursing homes & assisted living centers, and other health care services. Click on View Accreditation Quality Report to see actual scores for acute care hospitals 2011-2012

Acupuncture Referral Service - Find an acupuncturist

List of acupuncturists by state and country - note, many people are listed twice. Besides the US and Puerto Rico, professionals in Canada, Australia, UK (England, United Kingdom), India, and other countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East are included in the directory. Interesting observation: no acupuncturists in China are listed

ALS Association's Certified Centers

The ALS Association is a non-profit dedicated to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ("Lou Gehrig's disease"). They select, certify and support regional ALS institutions they recognize as the best in the field; and which have neurological diagnostics and imaging, and available certain on-site licensed and certified ancillary services

AMA Doctor Finder  Editor's Pick

American Medical Association site provides information on members of the AMA first, but also lists information on non-member physicians. Site reports over 814,000 physicians listed, and shows board certification as well as training. However, you may not find all doctors who are not members of the AMA, nor those not Board-certified.

Ambulatory Surgery Average Charges in U.S. Hospitals, 2007  Editor's Pick

Find average prices (mean charge) for about 80 outpatient ambulatory surgery procedures done in hospitals in 2007 (excluding surgeon's or other physician fees.) Average colonoscopy & biopsy price was $2369; upper GI endoscopy $3131; cataract & lens was $4870; tonsillectomy $5286; knee cartilage $7357; hernia repair $8187; outpatient gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy) $10,838; breast biopsy $3863; lumpectomy $7458; ear tube surgery (myringotomy) $3547; D&C $6366; arthroscopy $8970; incontinence procedures $9929; vericose veins $8459; bunionectomy $7699; wrist fracture $7807; $4770 for circumcision. Consumers will need to adjust the 2007 prices to estimate 2010 facility costs; 2007 prices for many surgeries were up 25% to 41 percent over 2003 prices. Overall average was $6100, compared to nearly $40,000 for inpatient surgery. AHRQ Statistical Brief # 86 is based on 28 states (2/3 of US population) published February 2010

American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) - What is Your Doctor's Specialty?  Editor's Pick

ABMS is a highly-regarded, not-for-profit organization comprising 24 medical specialty boards, that oversees physician certification in the US. See whether your doctor is board-certified in his/her specialty (such as Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Family Medicine, OB/GYN, Surgery, Orthopedics, Emergency Medicine, Radiology, etc.) and in his/her subspecialty (such as Cardiovascular Disease, Geriatric Medicine, Oncology, Endocrinology, Neonatal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease, etc.) Click on Is Your Doctor Certified on the left of the certification matters.org page (sponsored by abms.org). Registration (free) is required, but in many years of using this site, the editor has found no down-side to it & would encourage visitors to use the site

American Dental Association (ADA) Directory

Database to help you find a dentist who belongs to the American Dental Association. Shows only name, location and contact information

American Hospital Directory - Outpatient Charges and Volumes (ahd.com)  Editor's Pick

Charges and average costs for the 20 outpatient Ambulatory Payment Classifications (APCs) representing the highest Medicare outpatient payment to each hospital (excluding critical access hospitals). List varies by hospital. May include: cost for colonoscopy, laparoscopy, CT, MRI, clinic and emergency (ER) visits, x-ray tests, upper GI, lower GI endoscopy, arthroscopy, cataract with lens, angiography, echocardiography, hernia repair, infusion therapy, nerve injection, outpatient cardiac catheterization, ultrasound. Scroll to bottom of the hospital page to Outpatient Utilization Statistics. Also shown: inpatient market share by local zip code; net income. Link is to the Free Hospital Information

Assisted Living - General Costs 2012 (MetLife survey)  Editor's Pick

Annual Survey of assisted living costs finds annual average costs rose 2.1% to $42,600 ($3550 per month). Variation by city from average cost per month of $2355 (parts of Arkansas) to $5933 (Washington, DC). Very few markets have an average price under $2500. About 51% provided Alzheimer's and dementia care, with 61% charging an additional add-on fee for memory care; average base rate rose to $57,684 per year ($4807 per month). November 2012

Assisted Living Federation of America - ALFA Provider Database

Directory size is unknown, relative to all the Assisted Living providers that are licensed by the 50 states, but this may be a helpful starting point. ALFA members are listed first and have detailed profiles; other assisted living facilities show name and city only

Assisted Living, Home Health, Nursing Home Average Costs 2011 (Genworth)  Editor's Pick

Average cost for home health aide in a licensed agency was $19 per hour nationwide. A private one bedroom Assisted Living facility rose 2.4% to cost more than $39,000 per year ($3261 per month). Semi-private nursing home room rate was $193 per day, with Alaska at a whopping $609. Skilled nursing home private room averaged $213 per day in the US. All states listed; average adult day care and homemaker rates also shown. Survey by Genworth Financial (CareScout) between January and March 2011; published April 2011

Average Health Insurance Cost by State (AHIP)

Find out what the average annual health insurance premium cost used to be for your state. Report by America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a trade association, pub. Nov. 2007, using what appears to be 2006 data on premiums

Average Total Premiums and Employee Contribution, Selected Cities, 2008  Editor's Pick

The 2008 average health insurance premiums and amount of employee contribution for single, single-plus-one, and family coverage by selected cities and metropolitan regions, or remainder of state shown in this MEPS table of costs for private-sector businesses. Average single premiums in many parts of the country now exceed $5000 including Alaska, New Haven CT, parts of Massachusetts, NH, Charleston WV, and Milwaukee. Lowest rates of $3405 in selected areas of Hawaii, $3639 in Kansas City, MO, and $3708 in Provo Orem Utah which also had the lowest for average single-plus-one premiums ($6454). Family premiums were best in New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner LA ($10,025) and Provo UT; highest in out-state Minnesota ($15,010)and New Haven-Milford CT ($14,840). Portions of CA, NH, WV and Milwaukee metro exceeded $14,000. Coverage levels and plan design will vary.

Best and Worst Hospitals for Mortality: Heart care, Pneumonia (USA TODAY)

USATODAY.com published the federal government's list of hospitals that stand out for delivering better survival rates for heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia care, and those who score significantly worse in 30-day death rates. Actual mortality rates shown for Medicare patients, using data from 2006 to 2007. Very easy for consumers to read, but outdated. Pub. Aug. 20, 2008

Blue Distinction Centers: Cardiac, Cancer, Hip, Knee, Spine, Bariatric Surgery, Organ Transplants  Editor's Pick

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have designated national Blue Distinction Centers meeting their standards and extensive selection criteria for bariatric surgery, cardiac (heart) care, organ transplants (e.g. bone marrow/stem cell, heart, lung, liver, kidney, pancreas transplants), total knee and hip replacement, spine surgery and hospitals for 13 Complex and Rare Cancers (e.g. pancreatic, liver, bladder, brain, bone, esophageal, leukemia, rectal, thyroid cancer). Detailed criteria include outcome, volume and mortality/ survival requirements and measures. Lists organized by state; updated 2011

CareChex America's Top Quality Hospitals 2011

Lists of top 10% hospitals in specialties such as cancer care, cardiac surgery, inpatient gall bladder surgery, GI care, general surgery, hip fractures, joint replacement, organ transplants, spinal fusion, stroke care, and more. Methodology hides facts like dates covered by the data. Uses checkmarks and plus or minus signs. Can search by state. Announcing award-winning hospitals requires license fee to be paid. CareChex is a division of The Delta Group, a for-profit information company, which appears to be a competitor to HealthGrades

Certified Mammography Facilities

Searchable list of 9000 mammography facilities by zip code or state that are certified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or Certifying State as meeting baseline Mammography Quality Standards for equipment, personnel and practices. Use the complete state list (sort by city) if you want a mammogram in another zip code - or you will likely miss some nearby facilities. Updated 2009

Clinics for Underserved Populations (HRSA)  Editor's Pick

List of federally funded community health centers that provide primary care, pregnancy care, physician office visits, immunizations, dental care, mental health and other services, regardless of ability to pay. Search by state, county or zip code. Every state appears to have special clinics for those without insurance. Federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) have sliding fee scales for people up to 200% of poverty level

CMS Public List of Nursing Homes with Serious Quality Problems (2-16-2012)  Editor's Pick

CMS lists nursing homes in any state and District of Columbia that have a history of serious quality problems. These Special Focus Facilities (SFF) have been officially entered into the federal government's SFF program to monitor care. Homes on the list may have a history of "yo-yo" compliance, with a good survey followed by substandard quality on the next, thus unable to sustain good care. Some nursing homes are listed as Showing Improvement or having graduated out of the program. Updated Feb. 2012

Commission on Cancer Hospital Locator - Accredited Cancer Programs  Editor's Pick

American College of Surgeons offers the Commission on Cancer - Find Treatment Centers - Search by zip code (or city and state) and up to a 50 mile driving distance. Click on Annual Caseload to find volumes for different types of cancer treated, and Stage of cancer. More than 1,400 facilities are accredited by the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons. Accreditation of a cancer center is based on ability to comply with established CoC standards

Cost of Assisted Living, Home Health Aides, Nursing Homes (2010 Northwestern)

Northwestern Mutual surveyed assisted living facilities, home health agencies and Medicare-certified nursing homes in about 100 major metro regions in all states and DC. in April-May 2010. Average rate for assisted living was $3295 per month ($39,536 per year). Average daily rate for nursing home care was $247 per day; home health aides averaged $22 per hour, but could be found as low as $9 or less per hour or well over $90/hr. depending on city. Caution: cities are not listed in alphabetical order, so be patient in finding your region. Full report (147 pg) published June 2010

Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care

The project, run by Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences at Dartmouth Medical School, highlights the wide variations in how health care is delivered across the United States. Online tool provides comparisons by geographic region (HSAs or HRR) for Medicare healthcare use (data through 2005). While the tool is easy to use, the conceptual understanding of the reports requires technical sophistication

Directories (MedlinePlus)  Editor's Pick

This may be the only directory mega-list you will ever need. Directory links for doctors, dentists, hospitals, chiropractors, psychologists, hospice programs, and more. Extensive list of directories, although some sites only list those who are members of their association, and do not list others who may be licensed in that field. Specialized directories (e.g. Find an Eye MD, Directory of Asthma Camps, Sleep Centers, or Alzheimer's Disease Research Centers) can also be located here. Five pages of listings

Directory of America's Hospitals: State-by-State Hospital Index  Editor's Pick

Comprehensive index of over 6000 hospitals prepared jointly by the American Hospital Association and US News & World Report. Descriptive information, and links to hospitals' websites. Includes Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands. Well-maintained site

Doctor and Dentist Ratings and Reviews

Patients may rate anyone called Doctor (such as chiropractors and dentists) in the US and selected countries at this site: RateMDs.com. As of August 2009, very few physicians had more than 30 patient ratings. Most physicians only have one patient rating. Doctors are rated on punctuality, helpfulness and knowledge. May sort list by city or number of ratings. Consumers may add a comment

Fertility Clinic Success Rates - 2006 ART Report (CDC)

Find out about ART clinics (Assisted Reproductive Technology) in the US and Puerto Rico, in this 584-page report by the CDC and DHHS. Shows trends and educational information about techniques such as IVF with sperm injection, and Day 5 embryo transfer. One-page summaries for each of 426 fertility clinics reporting 2006 data, include pregnancy success rates by age of woman, and more. Pub. Nov. 2008

Find a Doctor at Physician Compare (NEW)

New federal government website at medicare.gov lists physicians by city (the zip code feature is not reliable yet) and specialty, including podiatry. Not too much information yet, usually less than you get at a state's licensing site. But we can anticipate this directory of doctors will in the future contain useful quality comparisons. Psychologists, social workers, therapists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants & audiologists may also be listed

Find a Geriatric Care Manager

The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, Inc. helps you find one of their members through this national directory. Easy to use. Credentials of their members may vary widely.

Find a Plastic Surgeon (ASAPS)

Use the online directory to find a board-certified plastic surgeon for your plastic surgery such as breast augmentation or breast reduction, eyelid surgery, facelift, laser hair removal, liposuction, nose reshaping (rhinoplasty) or tummy tuck. Web site by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)

Find an Oncologist American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)

Interactive database to help you find a board-certified physician with specialties in the specific type of cancer expertise you're interested in, or types of oncology, tumors, etc. From the American Society of Clinical Oncology (cancer.net) ASCO website

Find an Orthopedic Foot and Ankle MD Physician (AOFAS)

Members of the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society are listed in this searchable database. Only name and contact information available. Check other sources for education and experience

Find an Orthopedic Surgeon (Orthopaedist)

Find an orthopedic surgeon anywhere in the US. Easy-to-use and informative site, by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).

Find Health Insurance Options - healthcare.gov

New website helps small businesses and individuals know what health insurance options might be available to them. Search by zip code. Can compare 3 companies or plans at once; many show approximate monthly premiums. No recommendations or rankings. From HHS at US government

Fraud Prevention - See Who is Excluded from Medicare ...

Site by the HHS Office of Inspector General allows consumer to search for a specific name of a person or business to see if they have been excluded from receiving payment from Medicare and Medicaid, due to license revocation, suspension or surrender; program-related fraud; patient abuse or neglect, and other reasons such as default on Health Education Assistance Loans. Exclusions Database contains physicians, nurses, nursesí aides, hospital employees, pharmacists, nursing home operators and more. Thousands of listings

GuideStar.org - Form 990 and Executive Compensation, Nonprofits  Editor's Pick

Free registration is required to access the basic database, but it is worth your time. Most tax-exempt nonprofits file a Form 990 with the IRS, which shows important financial information and executive compensation (or portion of executive comp) received from that organization. Guidestar reports having over 10 million visits per year

HCAHPS - Patient Satisfaction Scores for Hospitals 2012  Editor's Pick

Use the Find and Compare hospitals tab to view patient satisfaction survey ratings and opinions by hospital inpatients across the US. Side by side comparisons for 3 hospitals at a time, 2010-2011 data. Find out how many patients would recommend their hospital, and the percent who give their hospital a 9 or 10 score. Voluntary hospital participation. Federal government oversees the HCAHPS survey process (H-Caps) - Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, available since 2008; updated 2012

HealthGrades Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence, 2012 (pdf)  Editor's Pick

Annual report (Jan 2012) identifies 263 top-rated distinguished hospitals (top 5%) from evaluating Medicare data from 2008 to 2010. Mortality results (survival rates) and complication rates have been factored in for 26 procedures and diagnoses such as: heart bypass surgery, angioplasty & stent, heart attack, heart failure, valve replacement, back & neck surgery, COPD, gall bladder, hip fracture, hip replacement, knee replacement, pneumonia, prostatectomy, stroke, bowel obstruction, GI bleed, pancreatitis, diabetes hospitalization, pulmonary embolism & sepsis. Hospital lists start on page 12; 24-page report

HealthInsight: National Rankings for Home Health Agencies (all states)  Editor's Pick

Overall composite home health quality ratings based on a summary of 12 or more measures of care in 2011-2012. Health Insight, the QIO for Utah and Nevada, used the national CMS measures and data to develop a composite ranking. Easier to use than the federal CMS website, but less detail. Interactive tool allows very fast search by state

HealthInsight: National Rankings for Hospitals (all states)  Editor's Pick

Overall hospital rankings based on a summary of AMI (heart attack), heart failure, pneumonia disease and surgical infection prevention rankings, plus patient opinions. Health Insight, the QIO for Utah and Nevada, developed a helpful composite ranking for nearly every hospital in the nation, using 26 national CMS measures and satisfaction ratings from inpatients. Results shown by state. Easier to use than the federal HospitalCompare website, but less detail. Updated with 2011-2012 data

HealthInsight: National Rankings for Nursing Homes (all states)

Overall composite nursing home quality ratings based on a summary of 6 to 12 quality measures on over 15,000 nursing homes in 2011. Health Insight, the QIO for Utah and Nevada, used the national CMS measures and data to develop a composite ranking. Easier to use than the federal CMS website, but less detail. Updated 2012

Home Health Aides and Adult Day Care Costs, 2011 (MetLife)

MetLife Mature Market Institute 2011 survey findings on average costs for home health and adult day center services. National average daily cost for adult day care was $70 per day; average hourly rate for home health aides remained at $21, and homemakers were $19 per hour. Report shows variation by state or selected cities. For example, home health aide cost averaged $19 per hour in New York City, $22 in Chicago, and just $14 in Shreveport LA. Home health aides were highest in Rochester, MN ($34, up from $25 last yr). (Inquire about fuel surcharges or mileage fees.) Vermont had a $148 daily rate for adult day center (Eugene OR at $147), while Montgomery AL declined to $29 per day. Adult day rates were $32 in San Antonio, TX, $38 in Memphis TN, $54 in Pittsburgh, and $66 in Denver. April-August 2011 survey published October 2011

Home Health Compare - www.medicare.gov (all states)  Editor's Pick

This tool gives detailed information about Medicare-certified home health agencies. Search by county or zip code and see performance scores related to nursing care, physical and occupational therapy, home health aides, speech and social services. Find the graphs to compare agencies on ten measures related to getting around, pain, bladder control, bathing, patients who get admitted to the hospital or need urgent unplanned medical care, and more. 2011-2012 data

Hospice - Find a Hospice that signed the Quality Pledge (NHPCO)

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization is the largest nonprofit membership organization representing hospice and palliative care programs and professionals in the US. Their searchable database helps consumers find a member hospice, including those Quality Partners who have signed the Quality Pledge

Hospital Clinic Visit Charges and Medicare Payments 2011

Find the average price for 30 types of hospital outpatient charges to Medicare patients. Includes Level 2 through Level 5 hospital clinic Visits (average charge from $148 to $362, with discounts in the 45% to 50% range.) All other procedures (APCs) such as Endoscopy, nerve injections, ultrasound, EKG, MRI, Pulmonary Tests, Cardiac Imaging, Sleep Studies, Excision/ Biopsy, or Debridement, have Medicare discounts from 66% to 96% off the charges. Example: Medicare paid $346 (including patient portion) on an average charge of $2588 for an MRI in CY 2011. Each state's average is also shown. In a separate Excel file, find the average charge by hospital (excluding Critical Access Hospitals). Difficult to use, from CMS

Hospital Compare - 30-day Death Rates, Heart Attack & Heart Failure (2011)  Editor's Pick

Federal government site from CMS shows whether hospitals meet expected 30-day survival rates for heart attack and heart failure Medicare cases. National death rates were 15.9% for heart attack (with 36 hospitals significantly under-performing), and 11.3% for heart failure (119 hospitals under-performing. Compare hospitals in your area. Results updated 2011, 2007-2010 data

Hospital Compare - 30-day Death Rates, Pneumonia (2011)  Editor's Pick

Federal government site from CMS shows whether hospitals met expected 30-day survival rates for Medicare pneumonia patients. The national Risk-Adjusted death rates (mortality rates) were 11.9% for pneumonia. Of US hospitals measured and reported, vast majority were statistically no different than national average; 220 hospitals had worse survival rates. Find pneumonia mortality ratings under Outcome measures. Results use 2007-2010 data, updated 2011

Hospital Compare - hospitalcompare.hhs.gov (all states) - Hospital ratings, complications  Editor's Pick

Federal government compares hospital ratings for heart attack (AMI), heart failure, pneumonia and preventing surgery infections and other complications in 2012. Includes death rate comparisons (to 2011) from heart failure, heart attack, pneumonia (Medicare only), and Medicare readmission rates. Click on Process of Care measures (on left) to find percent of heart attack patients given PCI (such as stent or balloon angioplasty) within 90 minutes of arrival, or the right drugs within the expected timeframe. Shows patient satisfaction HCAHPS ratings. Editor's Pick because the government standardized its ratings for all hospitals, and most ratings are based on more than just Medicare patients. Small volume hospitals will not show data for some measures. Be sure to click on the tables and graphs

Hospital Comparison Tool - Hospital Ratings & Cost Rankings (all states)  Editor's Pick

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of New Mexico makes this Hospital Comparison Tool from HealthShare (WebMD) available to compare hospital care ANYWHERE in the country, mostly using Medicare data. No registration required. Gives results according to the importance you give to survival, complication rates, costs, volume and length of stay. Provides rankings, and crosses state lines when doing the search. Considerable detail on different types of complications if you keep delving deeper. Disease categories include Cancer, GI (e.g., appendectomy, colon or bowel surgery, gall bladder, hernia repair, gastric bypass), gynecology (e.g. hysterectomy), stroke (under head & neck), heart (e.g. attack, failure, angioplasty, cardiac bypass, catheterization, defibrillator, pacemaker, valve), lungs (e.g. pneumonia, COPD), medical, mother & baby (maternity, delivery for selected states only), orthopedic (e.g. hip or knee replacement), pediatric, prostatectomy, plastic/cosmetic surgery and heart, kidney, lung or liver transplants. Caution: it always assumes higher volume is preferred, which may not be valid. Patient satisfaction scores from the federal HospitalCompare tool shown, without disclosing dates.

Hospital Infection Prevention Ratings - State-level  Editor's Pick

Compare hospitals in certain states on how well they prevent infections. Half the states (CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, IL, ME, MD, MA, MN, MO, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, VT, VA, WA) produce a report on healthcare infections. Consumers Union (the publisher of Consumer Reports), actively promotes public disclosure of hospital infection rates at stophospitalinfections.org and tracks state laws on infection reporting. Time periods and reports vary

Hospital Patient Satisfaction Ratings - AboutHealthSatisfaction.org

Easy to use website lets consumers find satisfaction ratings and recommendations given by hospital inpatients. Uses the same HCAHPS data as the federal HospitalCompare website (10 measures), but users can compare more than 3 hospitals at once, and easily cross state lines; visually easier to read. Dates are not clear and may not be as recent as the national government site. Created by IPRO, a not-for-profit healthcare consulting organization based in New York

Hospital Ratings at HealthGrades (all states) 2012

Hospital Ratings (5-star, 3-star, 1-star) for about 30 diseases & inpatient procedures: Stroke, back surgery, COPD, diabetes, gall bladder surgery (cholecystectomy), bowel obstruction, GI Bleed, hip fracture repair, total hip replacement, knee replacement, prostatectomy, respiratory failure, pneumonia, cardiac bypass, heart attack, heart failure, angioplasty/ stent, valve replacement, sepsis, pancreatitis, peripheral vascular bypass, transplants & more. Probably Medicare-only data for most conditions, although some states provide maternity, appendectomy, and bariatric surgery (gastric bypass) data. More extensive list than the federal government's site. Publicly-traded company. Most data in 2012 ratings are from Medicare patients, from 2008 to 2010; redesign and new ownership, methods are no longer clear

Hospital Safety for Medicare Patients, Gov't Ratings 2013

Federal Government shows patient safety rates for Hospital Acquired Conditions (HAC), such as Catheter-associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI), hospital falls, foreign object left in after surgery, manifestations of poor glycemic control (signs of uncontrolled blood sugar), the most severe pressure ulcers (bedsores) and vascular catheter-associated infections. They are all serious conditions that some patients get during an inpatient hospital stay. If hospitals follow proper procedures, patients are less likely to get these conditions. Dates are not easy to find, but they will be the most current available. Updated 2013

Individual Monthly Health Insurance Premium Cost - 2010 (KFF)

Kaiser Family Foundation reports average health insurance premium from 2010 for a single person's policy. Benefit coverage varies by state and policy. Range is from $136 per month in Alabama to over $400 in Massachusetts and Vermont. Average in US is $215 per mo. TX, OK, OH, NM, NV, KS and Alaska are not reported

J.D. Power - 2012 Health Insurance Plan Ratings - consumer opinions

J.D. Power and Associates shows ratings in selected states and regions for commercial health plans on Overall member satisfaction, Choice of doctors & hospitals, Communication, Approval processes, Claims processing, Insurance statements, Coverage and benefits, and Customer service (click on More). Methodology for member satisfaction survey data was not readily found on the website

J.D. Power Consumer Center - Service Excellence Awards - Hospitals

J.D. Power and Associates 2010 list of hospitals with high service excellence, based on patient survey ratings. Note, only hospitals participating in the J.D. Power surveys are included. Awards listed for inpatient, outpatient, maternity, ER (ED), and cardiovascular service satisfaction

Kaiser statehealthfacts.org: 50 State Comparisons: Minority Health Insurance Coverage

Site shows race/ethnicity comparisons for health insurance coverage and uninsured. Updated 2008, using 2006-2007 data

Kidney Dialysis Center Compare - from medicare.gov  Editor's Pick

Compare services and ratings on kidney dialysis facilities in any state or US territory. Quality measures show Survival Rates among facilities and quality of care provided to Medicare patients at hospital-sponsored centers, nonprofit and for-profit dialysis centers. Resources on kidney failure and end stage renal disease (ESRD) also linked

Leapfrog Hospital Quality Ratings - For Consumers (all states)  Editor's Pick

The Leapfrog Group, an employer-based coalition, asks hospitals to voluntarily report how closely they follow recommended quality and safety practices, including Evidence-Based Hospital Referral for high-risk procedures (volume standards), ICU staffing using intensivists, progress on 29 Safe Practices and other steps to prevent mistakes and injuries. CLICK on the green [i] to the right of each green bar chart to find out if your hospital meets survival expectations and volume standards of 450 CABG procedures, or 400 for angioplasty, or 120 for aortic valve replacement; 50 for AAA, or 11 for pancreatic resection, or 13 for esophagectomy; 50 High-Risk Delivery-Neonatal ICU patients per year, 125+ weight loss surgery cases/yr. Info on pneumonia, heart attack and normal deliveries also reported. Many hospitals participate; easy to compare. Updated for 2009, but period covered is unclear. Leapfrog was a pioneer in getting ratings in the public eye

Leapfrog Top Hospitals for 2011 (Dec. 2011)

Leapfrog named 65 hospitals to its 2011 Top Hospitals list, including 10 top children's hospitals and 3 rural hospitals. Hospitals must have responded to Leapfrog's Hospital Survey. Winners include Brigham & Women's, Stanford, UC-San Diego, Kaiser Permanente, Northwestern, Spectrum, Regions, Lehigh Valley, Christ, Vanderbilt, Virginia Mason, more. Leapfrog Group is a large employer-based organization whose mission is to trigger giant leaps forward in the safety, quality and affordability of health care

Link to Your State Insurance Department Site (all states)

If you like to browse, your state's site may have additional information about health insurance. These links are provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the organization of insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories. The NAIC site also has a company search feature (under Consumer Information, from the Home page) that allows you to obtain financial information, and complaint information on HMOs and other health insurance providers.

Medical Fitness Association: Find an MFA Facility

The Medical Fitness Association (MFA) is a non-profit organization that tracks, supports and promotes the industry of medical fitness centers. It estimated that about 950 fitness centers were operating in 2008

Medicare (Inpatient) Prices for 31 Common Hospitalizations - June 2007

Find out the average charge (price) and the average Medicare payment (the closest consumers will get to cost) and volume information by county or state for 31 inpatient DRGs such as heart valve, major large or small bowel or stomach operations, inpatient hernia operations, gall bladder removal (open or laparoscopy), hip or knee replacement, bone biopsy, inpatient shoulder joint surgery, kidney and bladder operations for cancer, other kidney or bladder operations, prostatectomy, hysterectomy, back spinal fusion, cervical spinal fusion, insert heart defibrillator. Fiscal year 2006 data. The large gaps between charges and payments may shock you, and lead to a number of questions about cost-shifting, true costs, and realistic charges. Must be able to use Excel spreadsheets. This is part of the government's work to become consumer-friendly for healthcare. It covers all 50 states, but not all counties, and may be the only place you can find this information. Average consumers may have difficulty with navigating the very large, cumbersome files. We had hoped by now, the reporting would show improvements in consumer-friendliness. No such luck; prices for 2008 and 2009 not available as of May 2009.

Medicare - Other Hospital Inpatient Charges - 12 DRGs (June 2007)

In the second file at this site, called Other Inpatient Hospital DRGs of High Utilization, you can find number of cases by county and state, and average charges for Chronic lung disease (COPD), pneumonia, heart bypass with cardiac cath, AAA repair (DRG 110), pacemaker implant, heart attack, heart failure, chest pain, large or small bowel procedures, diabetes, angioplasty with stent, heart valve procedures, and others. Average Medicare payment might give consumers an idea of average cost and cost-shifting. Pacemaker Implant example shows national average charge of $40,752, with average Medicare payment of $12,689 (a 69% discount!) Must know Excel, and be able to find your DRG. Organized by state and county; Fiscal year 2006 data. Not very user-friendly nor current, but it is a place to start.

Medicare Ambulatory Outpatient Surgery Average Cost (2010)

Find out the average prices (charges) to Medicare patients in your state and county, and how much Medicare actually pays for 50 common ambulatory surgeries for rotator cuff repair, wrist fracture pinning, hernia repair, shoulder scopes, endoscopy, colonoscopy, bladder scopes and stents, laser coagulation or vaporization of prostate for urine flow, lower back injections and more. Example: Hernia repair CPT 49560 has average charge of $4274, with Medicare allowing $907 and actually paying $711. Over 80% discount! Average payments do NOT show how much your costs for co-pays and deductibles are, nor are physician fees shown. Consumers are expected to know CPT codes and how to use Excel files. Not our favorite, but this is the best of what's out there, and it shows how messed up healthcare pricing is. No longer Editor's Pick, since in four years and the Value-Driven Health Care initiative, we expected improved reports. 2009 data published Aug. 20, 2010

Medicare Ambulatory Surgery Charges - 13 Other Commonly Performed Procedures (2010)

See this second file for 13 more procedure prices and discounts to Medicare. This file covers Ambulatory Surgery Center facility charges and Medicare payments for selected outpatient surgery such as breast biopsy (example: $3660 national average breast biopsy charge, with Medicare allowing $444, and paying $349 - over 90% discount), surgical change of stomach tube, prostate needle biopsy (CPT code 55700 $1599 average charge, $396 allowable; $310 average cost paid), nerve blocks, cataract removal & lens insertion ($3135 charge, $953 allowed), cancer screen colon scope for high risk patients, and more. Does not include physician fees. Confusing file unless you know CPT codes. This is the best of what's out there nationally, with state and county average charges. 2009 data published Aug. 20, 2010

Medicare Prescription Drug Plans - Premiums and Quality Ratings  Editor's Pick

Compare the prices (monthly premium average cost) for prescription drug coverage through Medicare (medicare.gov) and see which plans have higher ratings. Uses a 5-star quality rating system that includes member satisfaction survey reports. 2012 data available

MGMA Members Rate Health Insurance Plans 2011

Find out how members of the Medical Group Management Association rate Medicare Part B, Aetna, CIGNA, Coventry, Humana, Anthem and UnitedHealthcare health insurance companies (payers). On a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high), the best can only muster a 3.6 overall rating. Scores indicate how easy a health plan is to do business with. Pub. 2011

NCQA Health Insurance Plan Ratings and Report Card 2012  Editor's Pick

Compare quality ratings for HMOs and PPO health insurance plans. Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, Cigna, Humana, Kaiser, United - they're all here. Star ratings shown for accredited commercial, Medicare and Medicaid plans. NCQA (National Committee for Quality Assurance) is a private nonprofit organization that sets standards for quality of care and service that health plans provide to their members. NCQA Accreditation is a nationally recognized seal of approval. Updated 2012

Nursing Home Average Costs, 2011 (MetLife Survey)  Editor's Pick

MetLife surveyed nursing homes in all states and DC. in April-August. 2011. Average daily rate for nursing home care found to be equivalent to $78,110 semi-private to $87,235 per year private room (range by city for private room, from $141 in parts of Louisiana to $655 per day in Alaska). Example of city rates: Chicago nursing home Semi-Private daily rate ranged from $117/day to $250/day, with an average of $176. Report includes Assisted Living and home care costs. Easy to read report, published October 2011

Nursing Home Compare (all states) www.medicare.gov 2012  Editor's Pick

Free 5-star ratings from Nursing Home Compare for nursing homes that are Medicare or Medicaid certified and provide skilled nursing care. Quality ratings, nursing staffing and CNA hours per resident day, and results from survey inspection reports are updated for 2012. If you cannot find the nursing home you're interested in, the facility might not accept Medicare and Medicaid patients. Check your state reports for additional information. Consumers can also ask the nursing facility to share their reports on resident and family satisfaction. Good nursing homes welcome your inquiry

Nursing Homes & Assisted Living - Find Quality First signers

Browse this database of members in the LeadingAge (formerly American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, AAHSA) to find nursing homes, assisted living facilities, independent living, adult day care and home & community-based services. Some members have signed Quality First Covenants, reflecting a commitment to create an environment that inspires consumer confidence in the quality of care & services they receive, shaped by not-for-profit values

Obesity Trends, 1985-2008, CDC

State-by-state obesity trends for adults from 1985 to 2008. Download the PowerPoint slides to see dramatic growth of Americans, year by year, as obesity grips the country. You will want to eat better and exercise more after seeing these animated maps. Data shown in the maps were collected through the CDCís Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Report also available as pdf; pub. 2009

Organ Transplants - Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network

Transplant survival rates on a regional basis (1-year, 3-year, 5-year) compared to national; transplant center volumes; kidney, pancreas, liver, heart, lung, intestine. Click Regional Data on the left. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) Updated 2010

Palliative Care - Provider Program Directory

Hospitals with Palliative Care programs are listed in this directory by the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) in conjunction with the National Palliative Care Registry. Palliative care specializes in the relief of the pain, symptoms and stress of serious illness

Physician Charges: Preventive Services in an Office (Medicare Payments) 2010

Scroll to the download section of the page to find the Excel file for Preventive Services, which shows what physicians submitted for average charges and what they were paid on average in 2010 by Medicare. Types of services: screening mammogram. cervical cancer screen, prostate cancer PSA test ($26 payment on average $85 charge), colonoscopy (most common charge $910, Medicare paid $302 on average), vaccine and vaccination charges, bone density studies, glaucoma screening, diabetes education, smoking counseling, and more. Very difficult file for average consumer. Released Sept. 2011

Physician Payments: Average Cost for 19 Common Services in an Office Setting

Another difficult file to use for find out the average doctor's price for 19 common services such as skin biopsy, nail trimming, skin lesions, take fluid out of a hip, knee or shoulder joint, remove ear wax, knee x-ray, bone density scan, psychotherapy visit, photography of back of eye, EKG cardiogram, cardiac stress test, breathing tests, skin tests for allergies, allergy shots, evaluate need for physical therapy, ultrasound, chiropractor service, new patient office visit (level 3, Medicare pays $61), and established patient office visit with history and exam ($41 average payment). Must know how to use Excel files. Shows average doctors' charges, and what Medicare paid to physicians on average in 2007 for every state. Updated Sept. 2008

Physician: Average Cost for 72 Common Hospital or Surgery Center Procedures (2 files)

Very difficult files for consumers to use unless familiar with Excel. Prices in the two files for 72 Commonly Performed Services cover doctors' charges and what Medicare paid (18% to 25% of submitted charges would be common) during 2007 for breast biopsy, mastectomy, repairing rotator cuffs, fractures, shoulder scopes, upper stomach-intestine scope for diagnosis or biopsy, colonoscopy, stomach tubes, hernia repair, scope of the bladder, kidney stone procedures, prostate needle biopsy, nerve blocks, cataract removal and insertion of lens, post-cataract laser surgery, total hip replacement, total knee replacement, anesthesia charges and prices for surgery, endoscopy and more. Uses CPT codes, and all states are listed. Updated Sept. 2008

Premier 2011 Award for Quality Hospital Winners

6 hospital winners were selected on the basis of Cost, Evidence-Based Care, Mortality, Harm, and Patient Experience. Premier used 2009-2010 data in the evaluation. Announced June 2011

QIO Listings - Quality Improvement Organizations for each state

The mission of the QIO program is to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, economy, and quality of services delivered to Medicare beneficiaries. It is sponsored by the Medicare Quality Improvement Community (MedQIC, pronounced med-quick) through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

Rehabilitation Hospitals - CARF-Accredited Facilities

The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities offers the ability to do an online search for accredited facilities with specific rehab programs you may be interested in. Includes Behavioral Health, Pain Management, Brain Injury, Spinal Cord, Physical Rehab, Aging services, and more. Search engine is very complicated because of its required detail, and limit on searching one state at a time

State Comparisons: % of Adults Aged 65+ Who Have Ever Received A Pneumococcal Vaccine, 2009

Just over two-thirds (68.5%) of those ages 65+ have had their pneumonia shot according to this map. Leader is Colorado at 74%. At the bottom this year: California (60%). Kaiser Family Foundation at statehealthfacts.org. Guam, Puerto Rico & Virgin Islands data included

State Comparisons: Health Insurance Coverage of Nonelderly 0-64, by state (2008-2009)

Have you ever wondered where the 50 million people under age 65 and without health insurance are located? Kaiser Family Foundation shows the number uninsured by state. Ten states make up 58% (over 28 million) of the US uninsured under 65: California, Texas, Florida, New York, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. KFF statehealthfacts.org updated 2009

State Comparisons: Percent of Smokers who Attempt to Quit Smoking, 2010

Kaiser Family Foundation at StateHealthFacts.org - Map showing state by state percent of smokers who tried to Quit Smoking. Overall 59% tried to quit, US-wide according to the most recent (2010) data. What is happening in your state?

State Health Departments - healthfinderģ

List at healthfinder.gov - Links to all state health departments, compiled by the US Department of Health and Human Services

States with Adverse Event reporting systems

Identifies 27 states and Wash. DC that require adverse event reporting. Prepared by the National Academy for State Health Policy, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to helping states achieve excellence in health policy and practice. Pub. Dec. 2007

Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator  Editor's Pick

Find a treatment facility for alcohol, drug, and substance abuse treatment; detoxification services, etc. Search up to a 100-mile radius, including crossing state lines. The Detailed search (on left) allows specifying outpatient, inpatient, residential treatment, or a mix of mental health and substance abuse services, and permits a full national search. Site by the federal Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Thomson 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals - 2011

Thomson Reuters 2011 selection of 50 hospitals with significant heart care programs listed in categories: teaching hospitals with cardiovascular residencies, teaching hospitals without such residencies, and community hospitals. List only, organized by state; study used Medicare data from 2009-2010, some in 2011. Released November 2011

Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals - 2012 National Winners

List names top 100 hospitals in categories according to size and teaching status using Medicare data primarily from 2006 to 2010, and other publicly reported patient satisfaction scores and results at HospitalCompare. While no data are shown for individual hospital performance, Thomson makes a case that as a group these hospitals outperform their peers in quality and efficiency (lower expenses). Free report shows winners' names only; some winners received the Everest Award for also improving at the fastest rate. Methodology examines complications & patient safety; survival and readmissions for pneumonia and heart care; patient recommendations; and length of stay, efficiency and profitability. Released April 2012

Top Performers - Why Not the Best Hospitals (Commonwealth)

The Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that aims to promote a high performing health care system, launched a side-by-side comparison tool of 4500 US hospitals called Why Not the Best? Using 2007-2008 data from the CMS Hospital Compare website, this tool helps people compare overall and composite performance on heart failure, heart attack, pneumonia, surgical infection prevention, and patient satisfaction, and identifies the top 1% of hospitals. Easy to use, but explicitly NOT meant for consumers choosing hospitals. Instead, it's intended to be a research tool to improve hospital performance.

Top Tier Home Health Agencies 2013 - all states (pdf)

List of over 2000 home health agencies that rate in the top 25% has been released by OCS, a division of National Research Corporation. Uses Quality, Patient Satisfaction and Financial performance data (2012-2013) from HomeHealthCompare and CMS Medicare cost reports. Top 100 and top 500 agencies flagged for consumers. OCS' HomeCare Elite (TM) list (44 pages) in alphabetical order. Free registration required

Transplant WaitList and Survival Rates (SRTR)  Editor's Pick

Waiting list times, numbers of people waiting for a transplant: Kidney, pancreas, liver, intestine, heart, lung transplants. Survival statistics by type of transplant, and three-year survival rates by hospital Transplant Center are provided by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, which is affiliated with The University of Michigan and funded by HRSA. ustransplant.org Updated 2010

Trauma Programs: Verified Trauma Centers (ACS)

Level I, II and III Trauma Centers are listed here, by state (and Landstuhl Germany), at the American College of Surgeons' website. Trauma Center designation is a voluntary process that hospitals may choose to pursue for Adult and/or Pediatric care. Level I is the highest level. For remote areas, a Level IV designation can be sought; unclear why Level IV hospitals are not listed (approx. 29); Sept. 2009

UCompareHealthCare.com (all states)

Compare four hospitals at one time on volume, quality measures, patient safety, infection prevention, mortality rates. Privately held company. Reports cross state lines. Not applicable to Pediatric Children's hospitals

USNews.com America's Best Hospitals 2011-12: Honor Roll (17)

Johns Hopkins (Baltimore), Mass General (Boston) and Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN) top the list of 17 US hospitals identified (from 5000 nationwide), who rank favorably in multiple specialties. Check the details to see specifics for a certain illness, since one hospital may not be ranked (by US News) as best in everything. Methodology report shows how the hospitals scored. Mortality ratio for Medicare patients and Reputation are two factors used in the rankings for most of the specialties. 2011-2012 ratings use Medicare data from 2007-2009

usnews.com Best Hospitals 2010: Pediatric & Children's Hospitals

US News & World Report's top 30 pediatric hospitals listed for cancer, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology (digestive disorders), heart and heart surgery, kidney, neonatology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology (respiratory problems), and urology. Honor roll of 8 hospitals is led by Childrens Hospitals in Boston and Los Angeles. List called America's Best Children's Hospitals updated June 2010

usnews.com Best Hospitals 2011-12: Cancer Rankings

US News & World Report named MD Anderson (Houston, TX) and Sloan-Kettering (New York) as its 2011 leaders of the top 50 hospitals for cancer care in the US. Scoring includes survival (30-day mortality), professional reputation, volume, designation from the National Cancer Institute and other factors. Hospital relative mortality shown in methodology. Released July 2011

usnews.com Best Hospitals 2011-12: Heart and heart surgery

Top of the Cardiac specialty list: Cleveland Clinic (Ohio) and Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN). 50 hospitals listed. See if there is one in your state. Rankings include mortality ratio using Medicare data from 2007 to 2009

VA (veterans) Hospitals - Quality Scores 2010

Detailed scorecard for all of the Veterans Health Administration hospitals using 2009 data. Ratings for heart care, diabetes, pneumonia, surgery and other infections, quality of care, patient satisfaction, accreditation and patient safety. Report is not real user friendly at 200+ pages, but if you really want to compare VA hospitals, the information is there. October 2010

VA Hospital, Medical Facility Quality and Satisfaction Reports

The Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (OIG) makes its VA Medical Center reports available online. Titles include Combined Assessment Program or Community Based Outpatient Clinic Reviews; Audits; or Healthcare Inspections. Listed by date. Topics include quality ratings and patient safety, consumer satisfaction & experience of care, nursing home contracts, screening and/or treatment times, volumes and more. Updated 2013

VA Medical Facilities Locator & Directory - Veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs provides a convenient search tool to find medical facilities such as hospitals and clinics. Facilities in the US, Philippine Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico

Walmart's $4 and $10 Generic Drugs (Some will cost more) - Self-Reported

Wal-Mart has implemented a limited-scope program for about 150 generic drugs (361 drug/dose combinations) offered at a $4 price for a 30-day supply in most states. Most drugs may also be purchased at $10 for a 90-day supply. Available in all states except North Dakota. However: Due to FAIR PRICING laws in CA, HI, MN, MT, PA, TN, WI, about 65 drugs will carry higher prices, or may not be available. Prices apply to Sam's Club pharmacies also

Washington hospitals & surgery centers agree not to bill for 28 preventable adverse events

Members of the Washington Hospital Association, WA Ambulatory Surgery Center Assn, and the State Medical Association have agreed to not charge patients, nor their insurance companies, for 28 infrequent but very serious events such as wrong site surgery. Most hospitals expected to implement some time during 2008. Wash. becomes the fourth state to adopt the policy, announced Jan. 2008

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