A new searchable database will allow patients to compare the costs of specific care types like a knee replacement at hospitals in their area. By Jennifer Thomas
PHOENIX (AP) -- State health officials on Monday launched a new online tool that will let patients and their families compare the costs and results of health care at hospitals across the state.
The Department of Health Service's AZ Hospital Compare searchable database will allow patients to compare the costs of specific care types like a knee replacement or shoulder surgery at hospitals in their area.
Cost comparisons would be most important for those without insurance or those whose policies have high deductibles.
Patients and their families also can compare and review discharge rates and get a quality indicator score. The site uses both federal and state data.
"The site would help Arizonans made education decisions about their health care," DHS Director Will Humble said. "The transparency that the site provides regarding outcomes will no doubt improve hospital performance as well."
Health care professionals and policy makers such as legislators could use the database to develop and implement health policies and guidelines to increase the quality of care while reducing costs, he said.
The site uses data from 2011 inpatient discharges collected from all Arizona licensed hospitals.
The hospital comparison reports are generated by a Web development tool created by the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.