"The Socrata site is a bit more complicated, but it's more interactive," says Kristie Baus, RN, technical advisor for CMS' Center for Clinical Standards and Quality. "If you're more data savvy, you can use filtering to create your own view."
Other upgrades include:
- Information on whether a hospital's outpatient departments can receive laboratory tests from outside laboratories using a certified electronic health record (EHR) system and whether a hospital's outpatient departments have EHR systems that can track results of lab tests and diagnostic tests.
- Information on whether a hospital and its surgeons submit outcomes data to certain professional society registries, such as complication rates or infections. Baus explains that CMS initially wanted to work with the Society of Thoracic Surgeons to post outcomes from certain open heart procedures reported by participating cardiac surgeons. But CMS can't mandate hospitals to participate in any registries, and didn't want to appear as if that was the goal, "so instead of doing that, we thought…we'll just publicly report whether the hospital submits data to different registries."
- Links to a list of hospitals whose surgeons participate in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, run by the American College of Surgeons.
- An expanded list of quality measures it is considering adding to the hospital value-based purchasing program algorithm for future incentive payment adjustments.
- Seven updated emergency department wait time measures.
Baus says that to date, CMS has not posted on Hospital Compare the specific formula assigned to each hospital that determines penalties or incentive payments for their performance in readmissions or value-based purchasing.
Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.