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Consumers are now being asked—even expected— to take a more active and informed role in their health care. Being an "activated" consumer means that you are choosing your health providers using available information about quality of clinical care provided and on price.
Federal and state government requires health care providers to report a certain health information to the public. This "public reporting" is about giving tools and information to consumers to help them make decisions about their own health care. And many health care providers are now offering up information about the quality of the health care they deliver, more than what's required of them.
We now have the ability to know more than we ever have before about the quality of our health care. Being able to compare nursing homes, home health agencies, hospitals, and medical groups and clinics in your area can help you make better-informed decisions. Plus, offering this information publicly for all consumers (and other providers) to see may help encourage higher-quality health care for everyone. So, by exploring and using these tools, you and your family can benefit in the short term, and may help the overall quality of Minnesota and national health care in the long term.
Some facilities have so few cases that it is unfair to judge them on their quality of care for a specific condition.
Resources to help you compare providers
Many credible, free sources of information are available. Some are easier to navigate than others.
Medicare. The national Medicare Web site offers "Compare Care" tools for nursing homes, home health agencies, hospitals, Medicare Part D plans, and more. Scroll down the main page to find the "Search Tools" section.
Minnesota Hospital Quality Report. This site offers quality information about Minnesota hospitals, and is the product of a joint partnership among the Minnesota Hospital Association, Stratis Health, and more than 100 hospitals from around the state.
Nursing Home Report Card. The Minnesota Department of Health created this site to rate nursing home performance on a variety of factors related to quality and satisfaction.
MN Community Measurement. Access the health care quality data from medical groups and clinics participating in MN Community Measurement. Search by city, count, or condition. MN Community Measurement is supported by many of Minnesota's major health plans.
Minnesota Health Information. This "portal" site is designed to be a clearinghouse for consumer information about quality and cost. It was created by the Minnesota Governor's Health Care Cabinet in 2005.
2007 State Snapshots. This national Web site draws from several federal data sources to provide snapshots of state health care quality by setting of care. It was created by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and is updated annually.
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