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Medicare & Medicaid News

Quality Ratings Added to Physician Compare Website for Medicare, Medicaid Patients

Diabetes and heart disease measures among new quality ratings

Feb. 24, 2014 - The Physician Compare website designed to help Medicare and Medicaid patients make informed choices in finding physicians and other health are professionals, has been enhanced by the addition of quality measures to indicate the performance achieved by hundreds of thousands of these care providers in treating specific conditions.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said this is the first time quality measures have been added to Physician Compare, helps consumers make informed choices about their care.

In the first year, 66 group practices and 141 Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) now have quality data publicly reported on Physician Compare.   The data are reported at the group practice and ACO level.

The quality measures being added include:

  • Controlling blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes.

  • Controlling blood pressure in patients with diabetes.

  • Prescribing aspirin to patients with diabetes and heart disease.

  • Patients with diabetes who do not use tobacco.

  • Prescribing medicine to improve the pumping action of the heart in patients who have both heart disease and certain other conditions.

 

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The provider ratings are displayed using stars, which are a graphical representation of performance on a measure.  The actual percentage score is also listed to the right of the star display.  CMS chose this system to make the information more usable and easy to scan for consumers.

Physician Compare, created by the Affordable Care Act, already includes information about specialties offered by doctors and group practices; board certification; and affiliation with hospitals and other health care professionals.

“Patients and their families need facts to help them in making important decisions about health care, and choosing the right physician is one of the most important decisions they face,” said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.

“This is an important first step in publicly reporting quality measures on Physician Compare," added Patrick Conway, M.D., CMS’s Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality.  

"Offering a strong set of meaningful quality measures on the site will ultimately help consumers make decisions and it will encourage quality improvement among the clinician community, who shares CMS's strong commitment to the best possible patient care.”

Physician Compare is available at http://www.medicare.gov/physiciancompare.  It also can be accessed through www.medicare.gov  by clicking on “Find doctors & other health professionals.”

 More Medicare Compare Websites:

   >> Hospital Compare

   >> Nursing Home Compare

   >> Home Health Compare

   >> Dialysis Facility Compare
 

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