Hospital services

New CostAware site compares bills for state hospital services and stays – Town Square Delaware LIVE

A new state website compares the average costs of different types of services at Delaware hospitals, based on actual medical claims.

But don’t get too excited about the comparisons on Conscious of the costs.

None of the information is associated with a specific hospital, although in a few cases it is easy to guess which institution the information came from.

Without any form of ID, it’s difficult for the average consumer to use data to make decisions in their own lives.

Molly Magarik, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said in a press release that she hopes information will be included in future versions of the website.

This is not mentioned on the brand new site unveiled on Thursday.

In a Frequently Asked Questions section, a question asks, “Why can’t I see the names of hospitals or providers?” The response indicated that the goal of the initial release is to increase transparency in the performance of the state health system.

“It is expected that future versions of CostAware will include more detailed cost, usage and quality information,” it says, but does not include the disclosure of hospital names. The site also says it hopes to include hospitals in neighboring states.

Created by the Ministry of Health and Social Services and Delaware Health Care CommissionCostAware compares the costs of five types of care across six state hospital systems: cardiac procedures, cesarean delivery, emergency room visits, knee and hip replacements, and vaginal delivery.

CostAware also displays cost information for a basic blood test, colonoscopy, doctor visits, hemoglobin A1c, head CT scan, lumbar spine MRI, and a screening mammogram collected from five responsible care organizations. These are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers who bar together, usually by institutional affiliation, to create services at the right time and in the right place that can make Medicare more money for them.

Rates on the site are based on 2019 medical claims in the Delaware Health Care Claims Database and reflect the cost that consumers and their insurers actually paid for care.

The site includes readmission and utilization rates, as well as patient satisfaction scores, from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Each episode of care and services can be further filtered by type of insurance: commercial, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid.

“This kind of transparency and public awareness of health spending is important for everyone in the system – consumers, health care providers, taxpayers, insurers and businesses,” Magarik said in the press release. “We all want value for money for the healthcare expenses we spend. CostAware provides insight into the actual costs Delawarens and their insurers pay, as well as the quality measures associated with that care.

The site also breaks down the average monthly cost of care for each member of a responsible care organization and major procedures for multiple age and gender groups based on overall volume and dollar volume.

Work on cost comparison because in early 2020, when DHSS and the Delaware Health Care Commission began working with the Delaware Health Information Network to develop and implement various analyzes of health care cost and quality.

CostAware is the result of the objectives of this partnership which include expanding the analysis, measurement and reporting capabilities of the claims database to increase transparency; highlight variations in the performance of the health care system; enrich the knowledge base of consumers; and identify opportunities to improve quality and reduce costs for Delaware residents.

Slowing the growth of health care spending was a goal of Governor John Carney, whose Executive Order 25, set a controversial benchmark for state health spending. It is a percentage of previous expenditures that the state wishes to keep under the expenditures of the following year.

The first spending benchmark came into effect on January 1, 2019 and was set at 3.8% over previous years’ spending. The target was to gradually decrease to 3% over the following three years.

The first benchmark report measured the growth rate at 7.8% for 2019, more than double the target of 3.8%.