New California Website Details Costs, Quality of Medical Procedures

Thinking about a knee replacement? You will find a surprisingly wide variation in quality ratings among Bay Area hospitals for the procedure. This is one insight gleaned from a new consumer website unveiled Monday by the California Department of Insurance to help Californians better shop for health care based on both quality and price. The site, California Healthcare Compare, was created by UC-San Francisco researchers and Consumer Reports for the state insurance agency with a federal grant from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The site provides information on quality for five common conditions or procedures: childbirth, hip and knee replacement, colon cancer screening, diabetes, and back pain. And it gives cost information — by county for 100 procedures, ranging from treating a broken ankle to cancer chemotherapy. Websites to help consumers evaluate the quality of hospitals and other health providers have been around for years. But they often focus on cost or quality, not both, and remain a work in progress — even as consumers with high-deductible health plans under the Affordable Care Act are looking for better information to make smart health care decisions.

Source/more: Kaiser Health News

David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.

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