New Online Directory Helps Patients Compare Care Quality Across U.S.

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On Tuesday, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation launched an online directory of health care providers that allows consumers to compare the quality of care provided by physicians and hospitals, the Los Angeles Times' "Booster Shots" reports.

Organized by state, the "Comparing Health Care Quality: A National Directory" features an interactive map that gives consumers access to 197 state and 27 national quality databases from not-for-profit organizations, health plans and government agencies (Levey, "Booster Shots," Los Angeles Times, 6/27).

Users can select individual states to find more information (Abelson, "Prescriptions," New York Times, 6/28).

RWJF has omitted databases that do not use objective quality measures, as well as databases that charge a fee. In addition, the RWJF website does not include state-level quality data for Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii or Idaho.

While quality of care data are becoming more readily available, consumer use of such resources is limited, "Booster Shots" reports.

According to Michael Painter, an RWJF senior program officer, the limited use could be caused by the novelty of the databases ("Booster Shots," Los Angeles Times, 6/27).


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