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Healthcare Price and Quality Information for California Hospitals Available Online

Consumers can now use the Internet to access healthcare price and quality information for California hospitals. As San Diego medical malpractice lawyers, we are hopeful that the new online tool will bring much-needed transparency to the healthcare industry.

The new California Healthcare Compare website is the result of a collaboration between the California Department of Insurance, Consumer Reports, and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Federal funding made available under the Affordable Care Act helped pay for it.

“The time for greater transparency for healthcare costs is long overdue,” Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones stated. “Consumers have been in the dark about the price of medical services from one medical provider and facility to the next and certainly haven’t had cost information paired with quality measures.”

The online tool allows California patients to compare hospital and medical group quality in the areas of maternity care, hip and knee replacement, back pain, colon cancer screening, and diabetes. For instance, pregnant patients can learn about the number of cesarean sections performed at a local San Diego hospital, as well as the rate of complications.

It also provides information about the range of prices paid by health insurers for more than 100 medical procedures or conditions, ranging from appendicitis to prostate cancer, as well as the average cost by geographic area. The goal is to help consumers faced with high deductible plans to make more informed decisions about where to seek treatment.

“In any region for any service, it is astonishing to see the price variation,” Dr. R. Adams Dudley, director of the UCSF Center for Healthcare Value and a lead architect of California Healthcare Compare, told the Los Angeles Times. “I think this is a big step forward. We're moving in the right direction.”

The tool is now available at HealthcareCompare.insurance.ca.gov.

If you or someone you love has suffered from medical error, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego medical negligence lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.