Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Let the Games Begin!

It was announced on April 1st, that CMS (Medicare) is launching a website, aptly named Hospital Compare, that will show comparisons of hospitals performance on certain key indicators. This has been long in coming and will only further develop as the "pay for performance" mantra continues to expand into the hospital environment.

Currently, there aren't any indicators for performance in the area of Oncology but I would be safe to say they're coming. The current indicators have to do with Cardiology and Respiratory results in the hospital environment. I was really intrigued by the results when I compared local hospitals in my region. You should definitely give it a try in your area.

What will really be groundbreaking is if they can develop a physician comparison database. Although, I think that will be a long time in coming. It would definitely be welcomed by the public. Can you imagine comparing the physician you've been scheduled to see to other like physicians? If his/her results aren't favorable than you might decide to cancel and schedule with the one that has favorable results. This would turn the healthcare marketplace on its ear and would help break the barrier to make "pay for performance" a reality.

There are many roadblocks to implementing such a database. One would be issues with tracking and reporting data which would only add to the cost of private practice. In the face of decreasing reimbursements, the physician lobby would prevent this from ever being mandated by the government. But we can dream!

1 comment:

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