OHS: New Website Allows Consumers to Compare Healthcare Quality Ratings and Cost
Shopping for Healthcare Made Easier with Healthscore CT
(HARTFORD, CT) – The Connecticut Office of Health Strategy (OHS), joined by Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, announced today that it has launched Healthscore CT, an online tool to help consumers, businesses, and healthcare providers compare the cost and quality of medical care at Connecticut hospitals and provider networks. The website has interactive tables and graphs that allow consumers to search, sort, and filter by entity, quality measure, health topic, and rating.
OHS Executive Director Vicki Veltri said, “Healthscore CT brings transparency to two priorities in healthcare—quality and cost. As healthcare changes, quality is becoming even more important. Healthcare isn’t just about tests, it’s about what makes people better and more productive in their lives; what improves outcomes; what reduces health disparities; and what makes our communities healthier. We are all healthcare consumers at one point or another in our lives. Healthscore CT gives people the resources to make better healthcare decisions and gives providers an opportunity to improve the cost and quality of the care they deliver.”
Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said, “Getting the best value possible for healthcare is critical to the bottom line for every business and family in Connecticut. It’s important that everyone understand how healthcare providers score on quality and cost of services they provide, and this new user-friendly online tool will make that possible. I applaud Executive Director Veltri and the talented staff at the Office of Health Strategy for working hard to get this project to finish line and launching Healthscore CT to help Connecticut businesses and consumers make informed decisions about healthcare.”
The website has two major components: a quality scorecard and a cost estimator that is scheduled to be released at the end of September 2019.
OHS Director of Healthcare Innovation Mark Schaefer said, “With thanks to our partners at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, Connecticut is among the first states to develop a rating system that measures the performance of provider networks rather than individual providers. With trusted data, everyone can make more informed choices when it comes to healthcare. Individuals making treatment decisions, businesses choosing provider networks, healthcare organizations searching for ways to improve care, and payers working to implement reforms throughout the healthcare system can all benefit from Healthscore CT.”
The quality scorecard, supported by a $45 million grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, uses national standard measures endorsed by the National Quality Forum (NQF) and consumer experience measures derived from Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) consumer surveys. It employs a five-star system to rate healthcare organizations on 30 health measures as determined by the State Innovation Model Quality Council—an advisory body made up of consumer advocates, providers, community organizations, state agencies, and payers. The health measures cover 10 areas including behavioral health, child health, women’s health, chronic conditions, and preventive health. Using interactive tables and graphs, the provider networks may be compared to other networks and to the state average for any given health measure (like diabetes or asthma) or an overall rating that measures its performance against all networks on all quality measures.
The scorecard uses information from nearly 465,000 patients of 19 accountable care organizations throughout Connecticut; individual scores may be based on fewer patients, but not fewer than 30 patients. Consumer experience scores are not based on fewer than 50 patients.
When launched in September, the cost estimator tool will pull information from the All-Payer Claims Database (APCD) to allow users to see the cost of a specific procedure by a specific healthcare organization. Connecticut General Statute 19a-755a requires OHS to use the APCD to collect, assess, and report healthcare information relating to safety, quality, cost effectiveness, and access for all levels of healthcare. All Connecticut regulated insurers and pharmacy benefit managers are required to submit health insurance claims to the APCD.
“The cost differential between provider networks is informative,” said Veltri. “For example, an MRI at provider X is $590 and at provider Y it is over $1,000—same diagnostic test, significant cost difference. High cost does not necessarily mean good quality, and this website helps consumers sort that out. This information is a good starting point for conversations with your healthcare provider, and this site will continue to evolve to serve consumers.”
Healthscore CT is a free resource.
Communications Director, Connecticut Office of Health Strategy
450 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106