Combining Satisfaction And Healthcare Cost Data

Erin McCann | Government Health IT | June 9, 2014

An organization in Virginia has made the most of available federal data and has provided a one-stop-shop for healthcare consumers. Virginia Health Information, which charges itself with making health data available for effective consumer decision making, released statewide patient satisfaction ratings -- based on CMS data released this year -- last month, and just this June followed it up with outpatient procedural pricing data, also from CMS.

"Consumers want general information on why a procedure is needed, how it is performed, the risks, benefits, alternatives and recovery time," said Michael Lundberg, executive director of VHI, in a press statement. "VHI couples the background information with specific lists of where the procedure is performed, how often and the pre?discounted charges."

Looking at the now public data, for example, a diagnostic colonoscopy at Virginia medical facilities could cost patients anywhere from $625 -- at physician offices -- to $11,041 at various hospitals. LewisGale Hospital in Pulaski charges the highest rates for a diagnostic colonoscopy at $11,041, having 440 total cases in 2012...