|By Business Wire||
|January 8, 2014 06:00 AM EST||
This year, hundreds of thousands of Californians are expected to be newly insured as part of the Affordable Care Act. Where will they and millions of others turn for unbiased information and ratings about the quality of care in the Golden State?
CalQualityCare.org is a free, easy-to-use source for information about the performance of medical groups, hospitals, nursing homes, and other long term care facilities in California. Produced by the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF), a nonprofit philanthropy, the website offers one-stop shopping and makes it easy to find and compare providers on a range of measures, including patient experience with medical groups and office staff, nursing home staffing levels, and hospital quality, including ER wait times. Users will also find tips and checklists about how to choose a provider, questions to ask, how to pay for care, and what to do if something goes wrong.
Previously, CHCF operated two websites rating hospitals (CalHospitalCompare.org) and nursing homes and other long-term care facilities (CalQualityCare.org). The two sites have been combined into a single site, CalQualityCare.org.
“The fact is health care quality can vary dramatically from provider to provider,” said Andy Krackov, senior program officer at CHCF. “When it comes to choosing a medical group, hospital, or long term care provider, better information makes for smarter choices. CalQualityCare is an easy-to-use site the public can trust.”
Unlike paid and commercial sites, users can be assured the information on CalQualityCare.org is objective and unbiased. There is no advertising (or promotion of one provider over others) and no registration or contact information is required.
CHCF partners with the following organizations to produce the data on CalQualityCare.org:
- Hospitals: California Hospitals Assessment and Reporting Taskforce (CHART) and Truven Health Analytics
- Medical Groups: Consumer Reports Health and the California Healthcare Performance Information System
- Nursing Homes and Long Term Care: Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco.
New Medical Group Ratings
The addition of ratings for 170 primary care and specialty physician groups in California is the result of a new partnership among CHCF, Consumer Reports Health, and CHPI, a nonprofit collaborative of health purchasers, plans, providers, and consumers. The organizations are among the first in the nation to make this information widely available to consumers.
“Sharing performance data not only helps generate important conversations among providers, it can lead to one of the most powerful forces driving improvement – educated consumers,” said John Santa, MD, medical director, Consumer Reports Health.
The medical group ratings presented on CalQualityCare.org focus on patient experiences with their doctors, and are based on data collected through CHPI’s annual Patient Assessment Survey (PAS). The rating icons used are the same ones familiar to long-time readers of Consumer Reports. To learn more about the site, see the frequently asked questions page.
In addition to being featured on the CalQualityCare.org website, the physician group ratings are included in a special insert of the February 2014 Consumer Reports magazine (now on newsstands), as well as to subscribers of the Consumer Reports website.
“There is an enormous unmet need for greater transparency in health care, which is essential to improving the entire system,” said Tom McCaffery, CHPI board president. “This partnership with CHCF and Consumers Union is part of our commitment to identify strategies to provide consumers with meaningful data that can help drive real change.”
New Patient Experience Survey
Users should note that CalQualityCare.org currently includes medical group-level data and not ratings of individual physicians. The three sponsors are now fielding a short survey that asks consumers to anonymously rate their individual doctors in California. The results will be used to inform how to help develop ratings of individual physicians in the future.
About the California HealthCare Foundation
The California HealthCare Foundation works as a catalyst to fulfill the promise of better health care for all Californians. We support ideas and innovations that improve quality, increase efficiency, and lower the costs of care. For more information, visit www.chcf.org.
About the California Healthcare Performance Information System
The California Healthcare Performance Information System (CHPI) is a nonprofit, public benefit corporation whose mission is to serve as a trusted source of health care data to measure the quality and affordability of care, report performance ratings to and educate the public about health care value, and drive improvements in health care in California. CHPI produces ratings of California physician groups to help Californians choose health care they can trust. CHPI is a collaborative of California health care purchasers, plans, providers, and consumers. For more information, visit www.chpis.org.
About Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website, and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, DC, the states, and in the marketplace. For more information, visit http://www.consumerreports.org.
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