Mary­land pub­li­cizes data on pro­ce­dure cost, qual­ity

Modern Healthcare - - NEWS - By Maria Castel­lucci

Mary­land is the lat­est state to launch a web­site that al­lows res­i­dents to find out the cost and qual­ity of cer­tain med­i­cal pro­ce­dures.

The Wear the Cost web­site, which went live Oct. 19, was de­vel­oped by the Mary­land Health Care Com­mis­sion and gives res­i­dents the av­er­age to­tal cost of four non-emer­gent pro­ce­dures at Mary­land hos­pi­tals. The state cal­cu­lated the qual­ity of care for those pro­ce­dures by break­ing down how po­ten­tially avoid­able com­pli­ca­tions like in­fec­tions, blood clots or pres­sure ul­cers fac­tor into the to­tal pro­ce­dure cost.

“Putting those com­pli­ca­tions there is re­ally very help­ful,” said Bob Mof­fit, chair­man of the Mary­land Health Care Com­mis­sion. “It en­ables peo­ple to make ap­pro­pri­ate de­ci­sions.”

The data are from Mary­land’s all-payer claims database, which in­cludes pri­vate in­sur­ance claims at the state’s hos­pi­tals. Medi­care claims data will even­tu­ally be in­cluded as well.

The four pro­ce­dures on the site are hip and knee re­place­ments, hys­terec­tomies and vagi­nal de­liv­er­ies. They were in­cluded be­cause they are usu­ally sched­uled in ad­vance so con­sumers have time to shop around be­fore choos­ing a fa­cil­ity for their care, said Ben St­ef­fen, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Mary­land com­mis­sion. The state plans to add more pro­ce­dures to the site.

The site shows how the fa­cil­i­ties with the most ex­pen­sive pro­ce­dure costs don’t al­ways of­fer the best qual­ity. For ex­am­ple, the site shows that the av­er­age to­tal cost of a knee re­place­ment at Med­star Har­bor Hos­pi­tal is $37,225 with $1,097 of the cost ac­count­ing for po­ten­tially avoid­able com­pli­ca­tions. The site also shows that the av­er­age to­tal cost of a knee re­place­ment is $22,687 at the Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land Shore Med­i­cal Cen­ter at Eas­ton, and just $353 ac­counts for po­ten­tially avoid­able com­pli­ca­tions.

“Just be­cause you pay more for a pro­ce­dure doesn’t mean that it’s bet­ter qual­ity,” said Mar­i­lyn Moon, for­mer chair of the Mary­land com­mis­sion.

Med­Star said in a state­ment that the web­site is “po­ten­tially con­fus­ing” be­cause it in­cludes data on en­tire episodes of care. The data, for 2014-15, also doesn’t re­flect changes that have been made at the health sys­tem, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment. For ex­am­ple, Med­Star Good Sa­mar­i­tan Hos­pi­tal no longer per­forms hip and knee re­place­ment surg­eries.

The site also high­lights how the cost for a pro­ce­dure can vary by thou­sands of dol­lars de­pend­ing on the fa­cil­ity. Data also show the av­er­age cost for a hys­terec­tomy in Mary­land is $16,381. But Johns Hop­kins Hos­pi­tal is above that cost with an av­er­age of $20,010 for that pro­ce­dure.

Johns Hop­kins also is­sued a state­ment in re­sponse to the web­site: “We fully sup­port any ef­forts aimed at pro­vid­ing trans­par­ent in­for­ma­tion to help pa­tients make in­formed de­ci­sions. We be­lieve that the cur­rent site does not yet achieve that goal. We will con­tinue to work with the Mary­land Health Care Com­mis­sion to bet­ter un­der­stand the data and method­olo­gies they em­ployed, as well as ad­vo­cate for the in­clu­sion of ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion that would as­sist pa­tients in mak­ing the right choice for health care ser­vices.”

The hos­pi­tal also added that its ob­stet­rics and gyne­col­ogy team treats the most com­plex pa­tients in the re­gion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.