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New Web Site Opens Window on Charges, Payments, Quality of Care at Michigan Hospitals
Date:12/19/2007

Consumers Get More Access to Hospital Data

LANSING, Mich., Dec. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- A new Web site will empower Michigan patients, families, employers and other consumers with more information than has ever been available to them before about the charges, payments and quality of care at Michigan hospitals.

MI Hospital Inform (http://www.MIHospitalInform.org) is a voluntary consumer service of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) and the state's 146 nonprofit community hospitals. "The site presents Michigan hospital charges, payments and quality data in unprecedented detail and accessibility in a single location," said MHA President Spencer Johnson.

MI Hospital Inform is another example of the public service leadership of Michigan's nonprofit community hospitals, which continue to lead the nation in launching voluntary efforts to improve health care pricing, quality and access.

"Until now, this level of detail about the pricing and quality of care at Michigan hospitals has not been readily available to the public," Johnson said. "The business community, regulators, elected officials and consumer advocates regularly seek more transparency in health care data. Michigan hospitals are proud to voluntarily open this window on our charges, payments and quality information for all consumers to consider in their health care decisions."

Consumers can access http://www.MIHospitalInform.org free of charge.

Available on the Web site is pricing information for the 50 most frequent inpatient and 50 most frequent outpatient medical procedures (clinical diagnoses and treatments) monitored and covered by Medicare. Specifically, consumers will find the average charge, average payment, average length of stay (inpatient only), and total number of patients who were treated for each of the medical procedures at Michigan hospitals. The Medicare data compiled on the site comes from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The MHA notes that, while Medicare data are good indicators of pricing and quality at Michigan hospitals, consumers should not base their health care treatment decisions exclusively on this information. Consumers are encouraged to contact their local hospital, personal physician and insurance company for additional information.

"We started with Medicare data since Medicare represents a large segment of patients in Michigan and the data are available from a reliable and credible source," Johnson said. "The MHA will work with its individual member hospitals to build on that base to expand the information available on the Web site in the future."

In addition to MI Hospital Inform, the MHA and its member hospitals continue to serve as national leaders in terms of launching voluntary programs and services to improve health care pricing, quality and access:

-- Through the MHA Keystone Center for Patient Safety & Quality, Michigan

hospitals have launched groundbreaking programs to reduce medical

errors and improve the quality of patient care delivered at the

bedside. This voluntary effort has been nationally acclaimed for saving

thousands of lives and hundreds of millions of dollars in hospitals

across Michigan.

-- Through the MHA, Michigan hospitals in the mid-1990s were among the

first in the nation to voluntarily report hospital-specific quality

measures and have since expanded their efforts to lead in the reporting

of community benefits performed within their localities.

-- Under the guidelines of federal law, Michigan hospitals are developing

the MHA Patient Safety Organization (PSO) to voluntarily identify

adverse events and pursue corrective action. By analyzing patient

safety data, the PSO will further encourage a culture of safety through

the dissemination of information on how to effectively minimize patient

risks in hospitals across the state.


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SOURCE Michigan Health & Hospital Association
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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