Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Patients Get Help to Find Good Doctors

Patients may soon have more tools to help them find the best doctors in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative has been designated a national Chartered Value Exchange. That means it will have access to Medicare data that helps measure the quality of care. Pittsburgh is one of 14 communities in the country that will have access to that information. Combined with private sector data, it could help patients make better choices. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt says it's important for that information to be out there to help improve the overall quality of care.

Some data is already available. Medicare and the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council have published information on the quality of hospitals. But this initiative will go down to the physician level, including the success rate of specific procedures like hip and knee replacements.

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