Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Medicare Administration Exposes Substandard Hawaii Hospitals, Nursing Homes
By News Release @ 4:32 PM :: 7840 Views :: Energy, Environment, National News, Ethics

Picking the Right Hospital for You

by David Sayen, Medicare Western Regional Administrator

If you’re having a medical emergency, the best thing you can do is get to the nearest hospital.

But if you need non-emergency treatment, and you have time to plan, how do you find a hospital that best fits your needs?

A good place to start is the Medicare website, www.Medicare.gov. There you’ll find an easy-to-use tool that has quality-of-care and patient- satisfaction information on more than 4,000 hospitals around the country that participate in Medicare and Medicaid.

The tool is called Hospital Compare. We have a similar, user-friendly tool – Nursing Home Compare – to find skilled nursing homes. More than 17,000 skilled nursing facilities in the United States are listed. We recently redesigned and added more information to both tools.

Hospital Compare and Nursing Home Compare have two purposes. One is to help people make good decisions about where they get health care. By making quality-of-care information easily accessible to the public, we also hope to encourage hospitals and skilled nursing homes to improve their performance.

You don’t have to be enrolled in Medicare to use Hospital Compare or Nursing Home Compare – anyone can access them.

Both tools give you a good snapshot of the overall quality of care at various local hospitals and skilled nursing facilities.

Hospital Compare shows, for example, how often and how quickly hospitals give recommended treatments for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and children’s asthma.

It also shows the percentage of patients who developed serious conditions such as bloodstream infections and bed sores while in the hospital. Such conditions are often preventable, if the hospital follows best practices.

You can find out how often patients returned to the hospital with the same condition, and how that rate compares with the national average.

We recently began posting information on how often a hospital uses imaging procedures such as CT scans or MRIs on patients with Medicare. That’s important because some imaging tests carry potential health risks, including unnecessary exposure to radiation.

Hospital Compare also lets you read the responses of patients to a detailed questionnaire that asks about their experiences and level of satisfaction.

The questions include how well doctors and nurses communicated with patients, and whether patients’ pain was well controlled. Patients also are asked if the hospital kept their room clean, and whether they received information in writing about what symptoms or health problems to look out for after they were discharged.

Finally, patients are asked to rate their overall hospital experience on a scale of zero to 10 – and if they’d recommend that hospital to a relative or friend.

Nursing Home Compare shows the results of health inspections and provides information on staffing, including the number of nurses, physical therapists, and nursing assistants at each facility.

It also has a variety of measures that describe the quality of care in skilled nursing homes, such as the frequency of pressure sores and urinary incontinence.

And we’re now posting the full text of our inspection reports, so you can read in detail about any problems that were found at a specific nursing facility.

To find Hospital Compare and Nursing Home Compare, go to www.Medicare.gov and scroll to the bottom of the page, under “Resource Locator.” We also have compare tools for home health agencies and dialysis centers.

If you don’t have a computer, you can call us, toll free, at 1-800-MEDICARE. We’ll help you get the information you need.

-30-

David Sayen is Medicare’s regional administrator for Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada. You can always get answers to your Medicare questions by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

LINK: Hospital Compare

LINK: Nursing Home Compare 

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii