State hospital reporting to become obsolete?

Hospital quality reporting on a state level may be falling to the wayside as more hospitals are opting for the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) database, which now mandates reporting.

Arguing that state reporting is too burdensome and redundant, hospitals in Ohio--including the Ohio Hospital Association--are supporting the repeal of state law (House Bill 353) in which hospitals disclose their quality data online in the state database called Ohio Hospital Compare, reports Dayton Daily News.

"Hospitals simply reporting data to a state depository that is largely duplicative really doesn't give us any value," said Ohio Hospital Association spokesperson Mary Yost.

However, some patient advocates oppose the repeal bill, arguing that state data provides a clearer picture of performance.

"The quality of health care we receive is uneven," Levine said. "We need more transparency, not less," Cathy Levine, executive director of the Universal Health Care Action Network of Ohio.

Supporters of the state reporting also say that Ohio Hospital Compare includes more rigorous quality data over the CMS Hospital Compare, including state data on surgical site infections, such as heart bypass surgeries, C-sections, and knee surgeries.

Similarly, the California Hospital Association recently withdrew its support for the state reporting database, known as Cal Hospital Compare.

"As CHART [the California Hospitals and Assessment Reporting Task Force] evolved, we did really well on the public reporting, but we have not done as well [regarding] standardizing the format of information and decreasing the amounts of data being asked for," said Debby Rogers, California Hospital Association vice president of quality and emergency services, according to Payers & Providers.

Although hailed as a national win for public transparency, the federal database may result in more states pulling out of state-specific quality reporting.

For more information:
- read the Dayton Daily News article
- check out Hospital Compare
- visit Ohio Hospital Compare
- see Cal Hospital Compare
- read the Payers & Providers article (.pdf)

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