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Public Information - Health Care Data Transparency

In any marketplace, when consumers have information about price and quality of the services they are seeking, they can make better purchasing decisions. The same is true of consumers in the healthcare marketplace. However the healthcare marketplace is made up of a disjointed collection of large and small facilities in which providers of numerous specialties and treatment philosophies deliver services, and services are paid for by public and private entities as well as consumers themselves. Given these complexities, the goal of establishing uniform standards by which to establish data collection practices to facilitate price and quality comparisons, also known as data transparency, can be difficult to achieve.

Recent advances in data transparency including increased adoption of health information technology and mandatory participation in state and federal data collection initiatives have led to a growing number of public information resources. Startis Health has supported these efforts through collaborations with Minnesota providers, facilities and community partners as well as the Centers for Medicare and Mediciad Services (CMS).

Resources for Minnesota Health Care Consumers

Minnesota Nursing Home Report Card The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) have created the Nursing Home Report Card to help consumers compare nursing homes based on a number of quality measures including resident quality of life indicators, hours of direct care and state inspection results. Additional information about the report card can be found at: http://www.health.state.mn.us/nhreportcard/nhreportcardfactsheet.pdf.

Minnesota Hospital Quality Report This site, which was developed by the Minnesota Hospital Quality Partnership (a partnership of the Minnesota Hospital Association and Stratis Health) and a steering committee comprised of Minnesota Hospital representatives, was designed to allow providers, consumers and their families to compare hospital performance based on quality of care measures.

Minnesota Adverse Events Reporting System The Adverse Health Care Events Reporting system, which is supported by the collaborative efforts of the Minnesota Hospital Association, the Minnesota Department of Health and Stratis Health, requires by law that Minnesota hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers and community behavioral health hospitals report whenever one of the 28 “never events” occurs. This site contains publications including the Consumers Guide to Adverse Health Events as well as links to additional consumer resources on the topic of patient safety.

MN Community Measurement This nonprofit provides data on health care quality in Minnesota. Its site offers quality comparisons among provider groups and clinics across the sate for 12 chronic conditions and health screenings including: asthma, diabetes and various cancer screenings.

Resources for Health Care Consumers with Medicare - CMS Compare Sites

These sites provide information to Medicare consumers about how well organizations provide care or services, and are based on national standards and data collection systems developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Public information is only one factor consumers should consider when making health care decisions. Other factors include asking providers, social workers, advocacy groups, community based resource organizations as well as friends and family. Additional resources for consumers