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Compare MA Health Care Costs and Quality at New State Website

December 17, 2008

Boston, MA – Massachusetts consumers can now easily do some detective work on medical costs and quality of care. The state has launched a Web site that posts the information for all to see.

Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. JudyAnn Bigby says posting hospital cost comparisons and quality ratings will help consumers make more informed health care choices, and hopefully will increase the quality of that care.

"We do have information about the way these types of data influence providers, and it does seem to push them toward wanting to get higher quality rankings."

Dr. Bigby says the "My Health Care Options" Web site is the first of its kind in the nation, and part of Massachusetts' health care reform initiative. Out-patient facilities are also rated for quality on the site.

Massachusetts resident Virginia Harvey developed a hospital-acquired staph infection which led to the amputation of her leg five years ago, after she had surgery for a broken ankle. She's a fan of the new Web site, and is happy to have access to quality information as she continues to manage her ongoing medical conditions.

"I think people having elective surgery done – this is a wonderful tool for them. They can comparison-shop and also look at different ratings of different hospitals."

The state Web site is www.mass.gov/MyHealthCareOptions.
Another resource for information on health care quality in Massachusetts is at
www.PartnershipForHealthcare.org.

Deborah Smith/Deb Courson, Public News Service - MA